In my previous posts I’ve laid the groundwork for an understanding of the basics of fly-fishing. This was mostly a selfish pursuit because I wanted my readers to have a basic understanding of not only the terminology but also the "art." Some of which may have been lost through my meandering prose. Hopefully, from now on when I say I took my 8wt rig with a floating line and a 9ft leader and tied on a royal wulf before heading up the creek, you dear reader will be able to follow along without missing a beat.
This brings me to my next crucial piece of gear that you are going to have to bring every time that you head out on the water. PERSEVERANCE. Fly-fishing can be one of the most frustrating things you will ever undertake. No matter your skill level, at some point you’ll become so pissed off and frustrated you’ll want to bend your pole over your knee and toss it into the waves. (I’ve felt like it more than once).
I’ve had trips ruined by a reel that completely exploded, and I’ve probably caught more trees than fish. My fly line has snapped and I’ve lost my entire leader, fly included, only to look into my creel and find that I haven't thought to bring a backup. Another time my two-piece rod came apart and I had to literally dive for it in 25ft of ice-cold mountain stream water. All of this, and I still keep doing it.
I'm a fisherman. I'm hooked. The positives far outweigh the negatives. If there’s anything I can convey that you may glean from this, is that all of those mishaps will be forgotten the first time you haul in a fat 3lb trout that just devoured your fly after a perfect cast. Or even a small brookie that leaps from the water to gobble your fly on a cool mountain morning. More often than not it's the small things that you’ll take pride in at first, that first perfect cast, your first successful double haul, a successful barrel cast or even a terrible cast that you get a rise on.
Little victories will pile up and you’ll soon be really glad that you didn't bust that $300 rig over your knee. You just have to keep at it. If it helps, just remember this "at least I haven't had to dive for my pole like Toy did."
KEEP AT IT!!
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Tight Lines, Friends!
Check out the rest of the "Anatomy of a Fly Fisherman" Series here at HighlandFrog.com!