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I am sure many of you on this forum have been asked the same question that I’ve been asked numerous times and that is “Why do I fly fish?” Generally speaking, those who are asking me this question have never fly fished and or the only fishing experience they’ve had was sitting on a bank of a pond or stream while drowning a worm. As a result, during my explanation it is hard to determine whether or not the person is truly getting the answer that I am attempting to convey. So to all my fellow fly fishing friends on this forum, I felt that I would just share a few of my thoughts and some photos on this topic; perhaps you would like to share a few of yours.

For me, standing in the middle of a river as the sun begins to rise over the mountain edge is the time I enjoy the most. I hear only the sounds of water flowing and nature waking up as the fog is slowly lifting from the water and the awesome splendor of God’s hand is being revealed. When I'm alone on a stream, I feel that I have time to be myself, abandoning the stresses associated to work and to be able to reflect on all the true blessings that I have in my life. To me, nothing has the same physical and spiritual attraction than standing in a river flowing through a mountainous setting while casting a fly to a rising trout. This is where I find myself at peace, catching fish becomes a bonus.

Here are some photos of my favorite river taken over the past year. Hopefully these will bring some perspective to my thoughts on this topic.

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For me, standing in the middle of a river as the sun begins to rise over the mountain edge is the time I enjoy the most. I hear only the sounds of water flowing and nature waking up as the fog is slowly lifting from the water and the awesome splendor of God’s hand is being revealed. When I'm alone on a stream, I feel that I have time to be myself, abandoning the stresses associated to work and to be able to reflect on all the true blessings that I have in my life. To me, nothing has the same physical and spiritual attraction than standing in a river flowing through a mountainous setting while casting a fly to a rising trout. This is where I find myself at peace, catching fish becomes a bonus.

Here are some photos of my favorite river taken over the past year. Hopefully these will bring some perspective to my thoughts on this topic.
Nice write up. Honestly though, you can experience all of those things with spinning gear also(except for the "casting a fly" part of course). Why do I fly fish? I don't know, I simply just enjoy it more. It can be challenging at times, yet at other times it can be much more effective than regular gear. There was a similar thread a while back, I'll have to dig it up and see what I said then lol..
 

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Nice write up. Honestly though, you can experience all of those things with spinning gear also(except for the "casting a fly" part of course).

Nick:

I could not agree with you more and it was not my intention to come off sounding snobbish if interpreted that way. Not many people start off with a fly rod in their hands, they typically start with spinning gear as I did; some of my fondest memories are those times throwing a Panther Martin or a Rooster Tail in a river while chasing trout in my earlier years. However, since this forum is about fly fishing and because of the "purity" of the art in the setting I described, I kept it strictly as such.
 

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I could not agree with you more and it was not my intention to come off sounding snobbish if interpreted that way. Not many people start off with a fly rod in their hands, they typically start with spinning gear as I did; some of my fondest memories are those times throwing a Panther Martin or a Rooster Tail in a river while chasing trout in my earlier years. However, since this forum is about fly fishing and because of the "purity" of the art in the setting I described, I kept it strictly as such.
You're fine, and I understand why you said it the way you did.

And those are some great pics flyman01 and V Fisher. Wish I could be on those streams right now! Slippery Rock Creek might not be the best of trout streams, but it's hard to beat it's scenery.
 

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Its not all about trout its about being there catching fish is a plus
That's exactly how I feel. I spent 6 hours last weekend at Clear Creek, wading up stream, enjoying the scenery, watching the herons, fishing, pausing while a pair of deer splashed slowly up stream of me about 30 feet, not even realizing I'm there.
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I didn't catch a single damn trout, but that's OK. I did manage 9 nice creek chubs, all of which cussed me out croaking as I removed the hook to let them swim back to their pool.

Ahh, the life.

As far as fly fishing vs. spin fishing? I like the fly fishing - it seems more in contact with nature, a bit more primitive. I make my own leaders. I tie my own flies. I have to have a skill to cast it, and land the line on the water. It is all work and relaxing at the same time.

Catching the fish is an added benefit.
 

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That's exactly how I feel. I spent 6 hours last weekend at Clear Creek, wading up stream, enjoying the scenery, watching the herons, fishing, pausing while a pair of deer splashed slowly up stream of me about 30 feet, not even realizing I'm there.
Exactly. The whole experience is why I love it so much, as V Fisher said the fish are just a bonus. Seeing wildlife, listening to the stream, and just being out and enjoying nature.

I had a similar experience a few weeks ago when my brother and I explored two new streams out in NW PA. Covered about 2.5 miles of water one way, but only caught one trout between the two of us which was 4in at best:eek: Even though the fishing was poor, we both still had a great time. Both streams were very scenic, we had to navigate around two beaver dams to reach a tributary, I saw my first ever porcupine in the wild, saw a heron, and we just enjoyed being out in the wilderness with nobody else around for miles. Even though we found out the stream wasn't that good(sometimes the stream's a bust, sometimes you find a gem, all part of the fun of exploring new water), the trip was definitely worth it.

 

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Nice write up. Honestly though, you can experience all of those things with spinning gear also(except for the "casting a fly" part of course).

Nick:

I could not agree with you more and it was not my intention to come off sounding snobbish if interpreted that way. Not many people start off with a fly rod in their hands, they typically start with spinning gear as I did; some of my fondest memories are those times throwing a Panther Martin or a Rooster Tail in a river while chasing trout in my earlier years. However, since this forum is about fly fishing and because of the "purity" of the art in the setting I described, I kept it strictly as such.

You didnt come off snobbish at all...im a spinning gear guy at heart but there was a time,for a couple years that i got into flyfishing..i loved it..and i understand the addiction to the art of not only fly fishing, but tying/creating your own flies and catching fish on them. Its a very natural way of fishing. Nice post, thanks for the great reading.
 

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For me, standing in the middle of a river as the sun begins to rise over the mountain edge is the time I enjoy the most. I hear only the sounds of water flowing and nature waking up as the fog is slowly lifting from the water and the awesome splendor of God’s hand is being revealed. When I'm alone on a stream, I feel that I have time to be myself, abandoning the stresses associated to work and to be able to reflect on all the true blessings that I have in my life. To me, nothing has the same physical and spiritual attraction than standing in a river flowing through a mountainous setting while casting a fly to a rising trout. This is where I find myself at peace, catching fish becomes a bonus.

Here are some photos of my favorite river taken over the past year. Hopefully these will bring some perspective to my thoughts on this topic.

[/URL][/IMG]



[/URL][/IMG]

[/URL][/IMG]

[/URL][/IMG]

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Flyman01,

This piece below began for me as a way to answer the "why do you fish," question and evolved into a personal reflection. But, I think it fits here. Great post Flyman01, I think you captured the spirit of it all.

By: SMBHOOKER 06-02-2010

Reflection
The Art of Angling

Is there a mystery of something more to be found in the midst of the waters we fish beyond the catch?

I believe there is a kind of connection found under nature’s canopy. There is something hidden in the heart of creation that waits to be discovered. In this arena we find more than the prey we came to hunt.

Peace and solitude can be found in the natural waters that flow through nature’s beauty. But, although the tranquility of it all can inspire awe, there is yet an untamed wild that draws out from every fishing scene.

In the quiet of God’s creation I see the work that is his masterpiece and with his hand he has painted for me an adventure to be lived.

Today’s attempts to separate men from their true spirit break us apart from the center of who we are. Cubicles and couches have become traps that tame men’s hearts. The rigors of the rat race lead to a dead end road far from adventure. To take the path they lay before us is to march toward the ways of ruin where a man’s heart is caged in captivity.

But, what we encounter on the water in the open air of nature’s realm is freedom calling us to unleash ourselves. The untamed wild is ours to master. Here I am armed with a rod and reel, line and hook. These are my weapons and in every hookset there is battle and every catch a victory. Here I am no pawn to be played but a king to conquer.

In answering the call of the wild we find freedom. To dance with a bass on the end of your line is an escape to a world long abandoned. The jungles of concrete are left behind as only the noise that they are. What is left ahead is rough terrain that molds men into who we are meant to be. Here we match ourselves against the forces of nature, because it is not the right of the world to tame men but, the right of man to tame the world.

The wilderness is a place where drama unfolds within me. I have found instruction, recreation, and inspiration in the discipline of fishing. Wading raging rivers I have mastered fear and in the waiting moments in-between bites I have been taught patience. Fishing is my leisure and the back woods of rivers banks have become my playground.

It is not for fish alone I seek, nor just a sport that passes time. It is not so simple a thing as only a hobby I pursue. At the center of it all is a life’s journey of adventure in the discovery of a man’s soul.

The art of angling is where we paint ourselves into the frame work of our father’s hand. Through the prism of an angler’s eye I have seen the Creator’s work and known him. In knowing him I have found myself.




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I call it church or my therapist

Breath taking photos thanks for sharing

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Flyman01,

This piece below began for me as a way to answer the "why do you fish," question and evolved into a personal reflection. But, I think it fits here. Great post Flyman01, I think you captured the spirit of it all.

By: SMBHOOKER 06-02-2010

Reflection
The Art of Angling

Is there a mystery of something more to be found in the midst of the waters we fish beyond the catch?

I believe there is a kind of connection found under nature’s canopy. There is something hidden in the heart of creation that waits to be discovered. In this arena we find more than the prey we came to hunt.

Peace and solitude can be found in the natural waters that flow through nature’s beauty. But, although the tranquility of it all can inspire awe, there is yet an untamed wild that draws out from every fishing scene.

In the quiet of God’s creation I see the work that is his masterpiece and with his hand he has painted for me an adventure to be lived.

Today’s attempts to separate men from their true spirit break us apart from the center of who we are. Cubicles and couches have become traps that tame men’s hearts. The rigors of the rat race lead to a dead end road far from adventure. To take the path they lay before us is to march toward the ways of ruin where a man’s heart is caged in captivity.

But, what we encounter on the water in the open air of nature’s realm is freedom calling us to unleash ourselves. The untamed wild is ours to master. Here I am armed with a rod and reel, line and hook. These are my weapons and in every hookset there is battle and every catch a victory. Here I am no pawn to be played but a king to conquer.

In answering the call of the wild we find freedom. To dance with a bass on the end of your line is an escape to a world long abandoned. The jungles of concrete are left behind as only the noise that they are. What is left ahead is rough terrain that molds men into who we are meant to be. Here we match ourselves against the forces of nature, because it is not the right of the world to tame men but, the right of man to tame the world.

The wilderness is a place where drama unfolds within me. I have found instruction, recreation, and inspiration in the discipline of fishing. Wading raging rivers I have mastered fear and in the waiting moments in-between bites I have been taught patience. Fishing is my leisure and the back woods of rivers banks have become my playground.

It is not for fish alone I seek, nor just a sport that passes time. It is not so simple a thing as only a hobby I pursue. At the center of it all is a life’s journey of adventure in the discovery of a man’s soul.

The art of angling is where we paint ourselves into the frame work of our father’s hand. Through the prism of an angler’s eye I have seen the Creator’s work and known him. In knowing him I have found myself.




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SMB, is that a quote from someone else or yours?

*edit, I just saw that it is your original work. Great read!

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SMB,

Wow, that is a great read, very deep and spiritual in nature; thanks for sharing your personal reflection on this topic.

Fortunately for me, I am heading back down to my favorite river tonight which is the Hiwassee in southeast Tennessee. Should arrive at the cabin this evening around 9:30 if all goes well, get some fly's tied and ready for three days of fishing. Weather appears to be beautiful, looking forward to this trip.
 

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Along with many other reasons, I do it to catch fish because I suck at spin fishing but for some reason am able to catch fish with a fly rod.
 

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I Fly Fish because...Well lets get a few thing out of the way first . Smallmouth , They are a ball on the fly rod...and I fell it can be more productive than conventional gear at times...Clousers , Deceiver's , Shannon Streamers can be worked very naturally on sink-tip or floating lines and top water presentations..... well the only way to go is the fly rod....Blue Gill ....what better way to fish for blue gill than a 2wt or less...little foam spiders , sinking ants .....the natural drop you get is awesome....Now for the real deal.....Trout...As much as I love smallie fishing my passion is trout and yes many times the fish are small but that's not it....you must solve the puzzle to catch trout on the fly....you need to know which bugs to fish and when to fish them. What size they are yada...yada....you cant walk into Wal-Mart and get what you need ...most often you must tie it....When nymph and dry fly fishing you drift needs to be natural .....for example I plan to fish the Mad this wkend....I know that the BWO , White Miller , Nephlax Caddis are going to be the primary bugs I will fish ...why because they will be the most active and with the white Miller (caddis) and the Nephlax (caddis) will be the biggest most numerous bug going......so my nymph rod will be rigged to reflect that....My streamer rod will have some form of a sculpin on it rigged with a sink tip.....why Most likely the sun will be out and the bigger fish I target with the streamers will be tight to cover and the bottom....so I will need to convince them into eating.......Fly fishing is more involved and at times very frustrating because even my best effect will result in a skunk.....Now could I fish a spin rod with a glob of night crawler on it and catch a ton of fish....well ya....I've caught thousands of fish in my life time....but only the one's I've got on the fly ever really had any satisfaction FOR ME......not everyone has the motivation to fly fish and even fewer fly fish only.....Am I an elitist no...but I am awful satisfied with what I have became as a angler.....would it be this satisfied fishing conventional gear ? I can truly say no .... Pretty much anybody can walk into wally world buy a few crank baits and jigs and go bust some a smallie....and body can walk into wally world grab some BB split shot and some crawler's and bottom bonce night crawlers for trout......but the guys you see with the long rods that catch fish very regularly have put in their time ....I think you guys who do catch fish and have paid your due's to learn our sport can realize what I'm saying.....for the beginners.....hang in there ...getting there is half the fun...Ive been and done many things in my life....but nothing gives me the satisfaction and relaxation...as spending a day on a river solving the puzzle and catching fish on my hand tied fly's................
 

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There's one common reason I've noticed from most of you so far, and I thought that it was unique to me; still having had a genuinely fulfilling day, even if you leave skunked.

I never feel "satisfied" if I get skunked on spinning gear, but for some reason, with fly gear, it's almost as if catching fish is just icing on the cake. Whereas, there's not even a cake in sight if I'm skunked with spinning gear!
 

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BTW Gals fly-fishing too. I fly-fish because it is a combination of hunting and fishing.
The thrill of the stalking of the prey. Then the perfect presentation of the fly only to see the fish ignore it.
Then you examine of your surroundings..What are they eating you say to yourself? Then the damn thing jumps and laughs at you.
You still don't know what it is eating. So you decided to go with your favorite go too fly while tying it to the leader there is another fish jumps. You say to yourself Ok make the perfect cast. You start your cast and get tangled.. say a couple of choice words.

Watch the fish confirm it is still there. Take deep breath find target and start cast. YES PERFECT ! Start the retrieve of line and BAM! Your heart races and you now have to make sure line does not get wrapped around your leg or the branch the fish was hiding by after several seconds of talking to this quarry that has been eluding you for what seems like hours you dip your net and land it!

Smile for camera and then watch that beautiful fish kick its tail away and swim off into the stream. Then you notice your cheeks hurt from smiling.

You look around and take a deep breath say to yourself it is so beautiful out (even in rain or wind) and the hunt starts again.



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