Fly Fishing is a unique activity. We intereact with trout in a much different way than other anglers. Tricking trout with a well presented fly, defines the word craft with its very action. While many forms of fishing inolve craft…fly fishing, it seems, is held to a higher standard.
It was a late evening after the TU Meeting this past month. Two good friends of mine and I along with Danny the dog, sat near candlelight in the Teanaway Community Forest. The conservation evolved throughout the evening but when the subject of craft came around my ears perked up.
You see…fly fishing and I fit very well together. I am a science nerd, I love biology, so I am set for learning about trout, their food source, and environment. I soaked up all the information and knowledge I could. I still do. But when it comes to the artisitc side of me things get very cool. I was a musician. I was a drummer, I loved to play the drumset. I don’t do it much anymore. I used to be pretty good at it. Rowing a driftboat with anglers, chasing trout is a lot like being a drummer in a band. The drummer keeps everyone on tempo and entertained. As a drummer I fit right in at the rowers chair. Lots of things happening, people fishing, fish reacting, water moving, its organized chaos and I live for it. It requires craft to do it well. Anyone can row a boat down a river, but not just anyone can create a whole concert complete with opening acts, encores, and all the good stuff. Thats why I like guiding. Its a gig, and its my kinda gig.
Delving even deeper into fly angling we come to the cast and presentaion, as many of us know being able to cast well is a skill that we all practice, being able to cast to weary trout, under an overhang, with wind, and three different cross currents at 30 feet…requires craft. But even further, especially for me the real craft comes in the form of flies. I tie flies for trout. Not to look pretty in the box, sell in the bin, or anything else…they serve a purpose…to trick trout. They may not look fancy, but they get the job done, and after 10 years of doing it I like to think I have become pretty good and creating patterns that effectively
trick trout. Spending the time to create a fly that looks natural and tricks the most persnickety trout is my jam…thats my ultimate gig. I’m a purist in that sense. Tricking a weary wild trout with a hand tied fly is the most sought after moment for me. If fulfills me. It compeltely satisfies me…it requires craft.
What does all this mean? Well craft to me requires one thing above all others…time. A good angler needs to put in the time. We all know fly fishing requires patience…and in order to be very good at it, time is needed. I have devoted years now, to the art and craft of fly fishing. A life pursuit I will never cease. I have no goals of becoming the best, I only strive to share more moments with people and trout through learning and honing my craft as an angler and a guide.
Just a quick blog post today. I have had the subject of craft on my mind for a while now. I will expand on it more in a later post. I’ve got trips stacked for the next two weeks and I am loving every minute of it. Even in this tough year for the river I am glad to be riverside doing what I love and taking care of the river.