There is something about fly fishing that captures the hearts of many fishermen. To many people, the point of fishing is simply to catch a fish. However, this is not the case when it comes to fly fishing. Of course the fly fisherman wants to catch a fish.
He actually devotes an extraordinary amount of energy, time and ingenuity to doing just that. But there is more to fly fishing than just catching a fish. He is interested in the activity itself. It is the act of fishing from which the fly fisherman derives so much pleasure, not just from the end result.
What is it about fly fishing that makes it so enticing? There is one main physical difference between other types of fishing and fly fishing. That difference may be the key to the enjoyment so many find in the sport of fly fishing.
In all other forms of casting, the fisherman is throwing a weight on the end of his line, whether it is a lure or a sinker. Certainly, this does require a great amount of precision, but it is essentially like throwing a rock in the water.
The fly fisherman, on the other hand, is casting only the weight of the line itself, which is spread out over 30 or 40 feet of line. The tiny fly at the end of the line is virtually weightless, and it provides no momentum at all. Fly fishing requires precision, delicacy, a gentle fine touch.
Many fly fishermen want to learn as much as they can about their sport, not just about fishing techniques. That includes the study of the insects that the fish feed on, studying the freshwater habitats, leaning about the history and lore of their sport, as well as the techniques of fly casting and fly tying.
The fly fisherman has to be aware of everything from the cycles of the seasons to the life cycles of the insects. Fly fishing is not just another method of catching fish.
Fly fishing embraces the rhythm of nature as well as the rhythm of the rod. The rhythm of the rod carries your mind, body and spirit to the water. Whether you catch a fish are not, the water will always give you a little bit of its own, strength, some of its energy, and the wonderful feeling of peace.
The sport of fly fishing takes place in some of the most beautiful settings of the world including mountain streams, scenic lakes, the ocean's shorelines, and out on the high seas. Fly fishermen see and appreciate the wonders of nature. They care about the fish as well as the environment. Many of them take a proactive stance on environmental issues.
An anonymous fisherman once said fly fishing has a special hold on the spirit of man. This is because of all forms of fishing, it requires a perfect balance between discipline and freedom. Perhaps part if the mysterious allure of fly fishing is the feeling of harmony with nature and the gentle balance between man and fish.