Or is it? This is something that I wrestle with time and time again. I have fishing buddies tell me that fly fishing is about spending time with friends or enjoying the beauty of nature. That’s what they always say…especially after a fruitless trip to the water.
Oh sure…is is far better to spend a fishless day on the water than working.
It’s absolutely true that you can’t catch a fish if you are sitting on the couch.
The beer doesn’t mind what direction the wind blows or how well you present your fly.
But is it about catching fish?
Of course it is…if it wasn’t about catching fish why would we spend all those damn days with little piscatorial success? The reason we go back time and time again is simple…it’s hope that if your cast was just a bit farther, or your drift has a little less drag, or that new fly is a better match, you will get that elusive strike.
But wait…what about those beautiful places?
What about those terrific fly fishing buddies?
What about that cold, craft beer at the end of the day?
The truth is, we all fly fish to catch fish…but if it was just about catching fish we would find an easier (and less expensive) way to do it. Fly fishing is all about the experience and that experience includes our fishing buddies, beautiful places, cold beer, good music and of course a tug on the end of our fly line. I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Beaufort, NC.
We pursued albies with limited success.
We drank craft beers with plenty of success.
We played music while folks danced.
We shared old stories with even older friends.
The wind sucked, but the sunrises and sunsets didn’t.
In the end, I could have stayed home and maybe caught just as many fish, but had I stayed home I would have probably got caught up on some chore. Had that happened I would have missed the entire experience.