I’ve recently taken a more serious interest in fly fishing. There’s something magical about drifting a fly past a beautiful trout and watching him come up out of his hiding place to grab the bug. I should be clear – I’m watching others do this. What I do is buy a bunch of expensive crap and stand in the river looking clueless. And watch for snakes. Trust me, if I mange to catch a fish it’s purely an accident. I’m usually just as surprised as the trout.
Casting a fly rod reminds of why I gave up golf. Every once in a while I manage to cast and get my fly generally in the direction I intended. Just like those few, random, great shots in golf, one is usually enough to keep my interest. Unfortunately most of time I’m tangled up hopelessly in about fifty feet of line, leader, tippet, midges, indicators, and a collection of branches I’ve managed to snag. When I’m casting I need one of those yellow “Stay Clear, Danger!” lines like you see at airports painted in a hundred foot diameter circle around me.
I must admit that the gear is kinda cool. Seriously, how often can you get away with wearing a vest of any sort? Let alone a vest decorated with about twenty pounds of spools, forceps, nippers, clippers, range finders, nets, and voodoo charms. I don’t have a vest yet. The super cool fishing vest implies that you know what you’re doing. I don’t. I live in mortal fear that I’d be wearing my bad-ass fishing vest and someone would ask me a question. “So, are you using a number 3 flower dropper or a burrowing fox with a flux capacitor?” I’d stammer and probably pee in my waders if that happened. Which makes for a long drive home, trust me.
As much as I’ve enjoyed standing in freezing water and dropping expensive gear in the river, it has been a bit depressing. As I’ve worked to perfect tying one of the approximately two hundred and thirty four knots you need to know, I discovered a sad fact. I’ve reached the age at which I can no longer see well enough to thread the damn invisible line in those ridiculously small holes in the hooks. I’ve had to purchase a pair of magnifying glasses to see what I’m doing. On the bright side, I can now read the warning label on a bottle of Advil. Which is needed to numb the pain of tearing half my earlobe off while casting. Hmm… time to go watch “A River Runs Through It and pretend I understand the magic of fly fishing.