Fly fishing is a spectacular hobby. Very few pastimes combine so many interesting features. From physical dexterity to a knowledge of biology to a mastery of area entomology, fly fishers are able to explore so many exciting topics in their quest for those thrilling moments when a fish leaps and takes a fly in his mouth.
As with some many worthwhile pursuits, however, it isn't always easy. In exchange for the fun, fulfillment and excitement offered by the hobby, one must put forth a genuine effort. Fortunately, much of the work is fun. Any angler would enjoy reading more about the hobby and the game he or she will be pursuing. Anyone with the slightest interest in fly fishing won't mind practicing his and her cast until the body's muscles have memorized each element of the motion.
Successful anglers should be role models for all of us. They have combined three powerful traits that can help anyone to live a better and more successful life. Consider the two keys to fly fishing success. While you do, think about how those lessons might apply to anyone's life and how fly fishing just might be something of a microcosm of life.
Patience is a virtue. That sentiment has been expressed so many times that it has almost lost its meaning. Clearly, the message has been lost by many of us as we move through our hectic lives at warp speed, rarely even stopping to catch our breaths. Those who fly fish, however, have acknowledged the importance of patience and have made it part of their lives.
A day of fly fishing may feature scores of struggles with potential trophy fish. A day fraught with that kind of excitement, however, is no more likely than a day spent with only a single nibble. No-catch days are common, yet the fly fishing master will still stand in that unmistakable posture, casting again and again, waiting patiently for his opportunity.
Those who don't practice patience find themselves switching casts, flies and locations so often that they rarely have a line above the water. The only successful anglers are those who have patience.
Knowledge is power. That's another old cliché many of us disregard. We jump in headfirst without knowing exactly what we are doing and without the information necessary to successfully confront a challenge. An angler, on the other hand, comes to the stream with knowledge. He or she understands the equipment, the stream, the weather, the fish likely to be swimming about and a hot of other factors.
Those who attempt to fly fish without that kind of knowledge are far more likely to have their patience tested than the well-informed, who are able to maximize their chance of success. Those who fish with a box full of tackle and a mind full of data are the ones most likely to leave happily at the end of the session.
Does all of us mean that those who fly fish are somehow superior to do those of us who don't? I am sure a few fly fishing advocates might argue that is the case, but that really isn't the point. The crucial thing to recognize is that fly fishing encourages both the development and use of a few mental habits from which we all could certainly benefit.
Fly fishing is an object lesson in the value of patience and the power of knowledge. It shows us that taking those two concepts to heart can be the difference between a fulfilling experience and frustration. That's an important lesson no matter how it is taught.