Wednesday 9 December 2020

Covid and the Art of Fly fishing


Fly fishing its a Holistic thing...A few thoughts 

One of the books I remember the most from my teenage years was " Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance " it was a book looking at metaphysics and quality and if you choose to read it will explain why its linked to my blog title and the post in a number of ways. It`s  a book well worth reading.

Anyway this year I have been fortunate that I have  been affected a lot less adversely than many people ,but lets be honest all in all its been a year unlike no other . To many people have suffered and died  and it has brought out the best in many people and also the worst in others. I don`t know how others feel about this but it has also heightened the awareness of how fortunate we are as fly fishers to have something at our disposal which allows us to escape .  

Just as an aside I run my own business and have a office in a small business centre . For some weeks the office across the corridor has been vacant and I saw a lady in there the other day , she has taken the lease. After a brief conversation I asked what her business involved , she answered she is a Holistic therapist , now I wouldn`t say I am a total sceptic but my eyebrows perhaps raised a little . When I think about therapy I have always considered fly fishing excellent for mental well being. Mental well being is something which has challenged so many in society this year and I believe the years challenges have sought many to seek something different . The fly fishing club I help to run has seen a large increase in those seeking to join and we now have the longest waiting list for many years. This is something that other clubs are reporting .

After meeting the lady.  I googled Holistic "Holistic is an adjective that describes things related to the idea that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. In other words, that the entirety of something must be considered instead of just considering its parts. This philosophy is called holism, and that's where the word holistic comes from."

I also then Googled fly fishing "Fly fishing is an angling method that uses a light-weight lure—called an artificial fly—to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. The light weight requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. The flies may resemble natural invertebrates, baitfish, or other food "... 

As someone who has fly fished for fifty years now personally the definition of Holistic defines better what fly fishing is to me than the Wiki definition of fly fishing which doesn`t get close really .  As I have got older and fished for longer like many people the experience has changed I, like many went through the "must catch more fish " then "must catch bigger fish" and then "Must catch more bigger fish of species X" . These days its about the whole experience , the Surroundings , the wildlife the degree of perfection in the fish,  I find myself resenting stocked fish as if they are intruding in an otherwise perfect world.  I am even changing how I choose to fish. 

This year I have found myself rediscovering the joy of bamboo and silk . After getting a cane rod made some years ago it was only this year when I put a silk line on it that I really felt it work for me.  I have since added a couple more and am currently starting to build another cane rod from a blank . Its a given that I will never split the cane myself of weave my own silk line ,but I don`t make my own hooks and yet the pleasure of catching on flies I tie myself is a constant joy.  So I will see where the holistic Journey ends don`t expect to find me sitting next to the stream , legs crossed and humming gently but I must confess I seem to find more time these days to just sit on the bank and lean back against a tree and smile at my own good fortune. I can thoroughly recommend it.  I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and holistic new year. See you on the river bank...

Constable Wallop Brook

 I picked this rod up at the Grayling Society Auction at the last Symposium. What a cracking little rod !!! . I am getting increasingly fond...