As we learn fly casting, or any other discipline we learn that there are things we can manipulate and get the same result and things we cannot. In fly casting this is substance and style, or science and art as defined in fly casting, and may seem relative but will make sense as we practically apply them.
Prompted by late-night reflection on the severe flooding in Alberta a few years back, I’m reminded of one of the great truths of fishing – fishing of any type. That truth is simply this: Change Rules.
Boats are indeed useful tools for fishing, but there are some things I feel compelled to advise you about, starting with this: “A boat is a hole in the water into which one pours money.”
Something as simple as how we hold the rod and line is critical. This is the connection between us and our equipment and can make the difference between efficient and inefficient transfer of energy. It can also be the difference between struggling on the water and not.
Few images in sports are as captivating as an unrolling loop of fly line traveling over the water toward a target. Check out casting editor Jeff Wagner’s thoughts on the principles of good loop formation.
Article By Jeff Wagner Illustration by David Soltess
Not usually one to follow trends, I don’t wear skinny jeans (they are slim fit) or plaid (the lumber-sexual movement is so yesterday). The trendy nature of our society can give a feeling of whiplash to the unsuspecting. One day we hear something is hot and the next day it is not. Of course, fly fishing is no different, from cleverly renamed bobbers (sorry, strike indicators) to the niche world of fly rods. Amidst all of this are single-hand spey rods and techniques.
Think of a stream or lake as a big sandwich. There is the slice of bread on top – the surface, the slice of bread on the bottom – the substrate, and the filling in between – the water column.
It is a game of trial and error, of countless trips, exhausting hikes and fishless days. But when it finally starts to pay off, you will have developed a unique relationship with the water and its inhabitants. It will elevate the notion of “home water” to a whole new meaning. And, such intimate connection to place and time in the natural world may well be the very essence of fly fishing.
Maybe what looking deep into the fly angler’s hierarchy of needs will do though is help anglers realize they are not alone in their passions and idiosyncrasies, that they may be misguided and lost in their pursuit, but in the words of the band Blue Rodeo, “If we are lost, then we are lost together.”