November 22nd, 1999

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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The Wily Trout

By Blake Wills (aka Mountain Phly,) age 17, Cumming, GA.USA

Isn't it wonderful to get out in the clean fresh air on a crisp fall afternoon, or the rich air of a fresh spring morning? The strike of a trout after a perfect cast. The rhythm of a perfect day on the water. The challenge of a trout that just won't hit your bugs, but will go after everything else that floats by.

The frustration of a bad day on the water, but the realization that it was better than any day you've had at work or school. The pure pleasure of a great day on the water, during which you realize all the bad days are worth it for the good days. The wonder that runs throughout your mind when you gaze into a deep enticing run under an undercut, of a tiny creek.

The excitement you get when the same run produces a nice trout, which came out of nowhere, from the depths of the creek to slam your dry fly, or pull your nymph. The mystery that lies in the deepest hole of the smallest brook, in the most lonely place.

What is it about the obsession we call fly angling that traps you and addicts you? What is it about a creek that urges you back time and time again? What is it about the same creek that urges you NOT to leave, that wants to keep you, and own you for a few more hours.

What is it in our minds, the minds of fly fishers, that insists we fish for a few more hours, that insists we not have to catch fish to enjoy the time spent on the water?

Is it the wily trout that inhabit them, and which intrigue, and elude us? Does it come from our soul, deep inside? The feeling that there is no other relationship possible to obtain like the one between you and the wily trout.

Is it a longing for companionship of this kind? Is it the glory of such surroundings, and the special feeling, you get when you realize that your experiences are oblivious to all but others with the same addiction?

Is it the thrill of the chase of the wily trout which you can't control? Is it the intrigue of the facts that nature annot be changed, or the thrill of knowing that you cannot control nature, and must adapt? It is not possible to control nature, but it is possible to cope with it, and to try and adapt to it.

The wily trout is yet another of the same definition, yet at a higher caliber. It is the wily trout that makes us strive, and gives us a reason to be in the great outdoors for hours and hours on end, even days. Is it not the wily trout that you can blame or commend on account of how good the trip was? It is the wiliness of the trout, and the unchangeable conditions of nature, on which you can base the assumption that it's not always the fisherman's fault for a bad day of fishing.

I think the wily trout plays the major part of our addiction, if it is not the addiction itself. It is the wily trout that eludes us by sometimes not being where we expect it, and being where we don't. It is the same wily trout that pleases us when it cooperates, yet frustrates us when it doesn't. It is that old wily trout that has the outright authority to either turn it's nose up at a fly, or slam full force on the same fly. Is it this that makes us addicted?

We trying our best to trick the trout, to sneak a sly one on it, to hide our presence from, to leave it in natural order so that it will strike our artificial dry fly just like it did the natural two minutes ago. Do we not enjoy provoking this wily trout? Is it not us that tempts the trout with our offerings? Although, it is the trout that is in command of whether it is caught our not.

After all, it has control over it's habits, when it feeds, what it eats, where it lives, it decides if it doesn't like your presentation, or if it is in the mood for surface play and whatnot. It is this that I love, that I am addicted to, that I can't really get enough of, and that I know I never will. It is this that you can never perfect, but can adapt to the particular situation, which is the trick.

If there was ever a lifelong pursuit, which brings the pure enjoyment, all the while with frustration, confusion, elusion, provocation, and complexion, yet can be so simple and relaxing; if there ever was another pursuit that urges you on so, and that makes you put so much time and effort into, with so much longing, I don't think it is possible to pick a better sport for all it's worth than the art of angling for wild trout on a fly. ~ Blake Wills (aka Mountain Phly)

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