Fishing can be pretty polarizing. Most people either enjoy it, or they don’t. Those who don’t like it say that it’s boring, brainless, and smelly. Well, they clearly have never tried fly fishing. Fly fishing is a whole different ball game. It’s really active, it takes careful knowledge, and it’s far from a sure bet that you’ll actually catch something. If you DO catch something, it means you have achieved the perfect combination of fly selection, fly placement, and drift – something you can be proud of. It’s hard, it’s addictive, and it takes you to some incredible places. Most of all, it’s motivation to get outside, be active, and have fun. Still not convinced that you should give it a try? Well, here are five great reasons why you should try fly fishing.
Photo: Nick Oman
1. It takes brains
Fly fishing is not like fishing with a spinner rod. It takes a lot of thought and a great knowledge of the river, bug hatches, and trout feeding patterns to be able to accurately select a fly that will attract a fish. You have to contemplate your every choice, from what fly to use at what time of day, to where to precisely place that fly in order to have it drift naturally over a trout. In order for a trout to go after a fly it has to look perfect. And I mean perfect. Anything “fishy” about it and the trout will be spooked and wont want to go near it.
2. It’s a killer workout
Fly fishing can be done from a drift boat, but it’s more fun to wade your way up a creek or river, casting as you go. Walking through waist deep water, against strong currents, over the slippery, rocky riverbed is about one of the best workouts you can get. Plus, swinging that rod back and forth really works that casting arm.
3. The view from the middle of a river is special
Fly fishing takes you to places that you would never normally go. As you follow the river upstream, you see parts of the wild that only the river can take you to and that you might not be able to access if it weren’t for walking through the water. It allows you a whole new view of nature from a perspective that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Seeing the mountains rising up above you from the middle of a creek, watching an eagle soar over your head as it makes its way down stream, and spying on a moose as it drinks from the river bank are more magical when seen from the middle of a river.
4. It’s a challenge
If you like to be challenged, give fly fishing a try. If you don’t do well with failure, maybe you should sit this one out. It is not a sport that you likely can just nail on your first try. Fly fishing takes practice. It takes time to get the feel of the rod and the line, swinging over head in the perfect ‘C’ shaped arc. It takes careful studying of the different sections of a river and of where the trout like to hang out. Unlike fishing with a spinner rod, you probably wont catch a fish on a fly (especially not a dry fly) for your first few times. It’s frustrating, it’s challenging, and when you finally do land your first trout on a dry fly, it is the BEST feeling in the whole damn world.
5. It’s fun!
The main reason you should give fly fishing a try is that it is fun! Whether you are fishing alone, or with friends, fly fishing is exciting, frustrating, immensely satisfying, and enormously rewarding. It can offer you solitude and a great chance to get out on your own into quiet, untouched, unpopulated areas of the wild, or it can be a social activity with a group of your pals. Regardless, that moment when a trout sucks your fly into its mouth and you feel the line tense beneath your fingers is indescribable. It never gets old. Once you experience it, you will be hooked. Pun intended.
Photo: Dusty Klein