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Why Fish?

If you have been reading this column on a weekly basis, and are putting the thoughts and ideas found here into practice, you are no longer a beginner. Some of the last columns indeed are intermediate or beyond. I would suggest you read the rest of this site for more information each week. And don't miss the special sections including the humor and Readers Casts! All the "For Beginners" columns will remain accessable in the Archives for easy reference. This is the last installment.

Some things to watch for, a new section on Beginning Fly Tying, and special articles on fishing in different regions. No matter how good any of us are, none of us will ever know everything. Part of the challenge of fly fishing is the learning, and answers sometimes come from surprising places.

The reasons I fish - the reasons you fish may not be the same at the moment. Mine may change, and yours may too. But if we continue to fly fish, we find a new world. A world that does not include the everyday baggage we carry with us in our working world.

I wanted to close this column with some marvelous words that would inspire you to hang in and stick with fly fishing. Because the rewards are so tremendous they should be shared with you. Try as I may I cannot match what Jerry Dennis wrote in his book The River Home.

"If I had had the wit and the woman had been inclined to listen, I would have told her that fishing makes us alert, pulls us out of our thoughts, and engages us in something bigger than ourselves. It's a restorative that cleanses us when we've become muddied and makes us healthy when we've become sickened. It's a brace against pessimism.

Fishing, I should have explained, teaches us to perform small acts with care. It humbles us. It enriches our friendships. It cultivates reverence for wild things and beautiful places. It offers relief from overdue bills and endless chores and appalling world events. It makes us participants in nature instead of spectators, a crucial distinction because participants tend to become passionate and protective and spectators tend to become indifferent.

I could have said that looking down into a lake, an ocean, or a river is like looking up into the night sky, that both water and sky are filled with mysteries, and when we stare deeply into them we connect with every man and woman who has ever sensed the tugging vitality of the universe. We become part of a larger community, united by mysteries so vast that they make our differences of opinion and philosophy seem very small.

Anglers are people who want to get beneath the surface of things. I wish I could have made the woman at the dinner understand that fishing is simply a way to open our hearts to the world." Thanks Jerry for saying it so well!

Stop by the Chat Room and meet some fellow anglers. It is a nice bunch of people - always willing to help with fly fishing problems! Or just share your fishing adventures. Fair skys and tight lines, ~ DB Have a question? Email me!

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