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To me, fly fishing is as close as I can get to God without leaving the planet. I feel at one with nature when I am on the water. There is a rhythm that is in nature, and it is constant like the tides or the flow of a stream. When am on the water with a fly rod, I listen to the rhythm and then become a part of it. My cast, my presentation, and my retrieve all come in sync with the rhythm. When that happens, I feel like I am one with nature, and not moving against it like I do in my daily life.

I also fly fish because I think that fly fishing is fishing the way that it was intended. Imagine yourself standing on the bank of a river as a prehistoric man. You are hungry, and you have realized that you must eat to survive. In your search for food, you notice that there are bugs floating down the river and that periodically something comes from below to eat them. While you do not yet realize what it is, you know that the larger animals normally eat the smaller ones. It was at a time like this that fly fishing was born. Prehistoric man probably tired to catch the insects and use them as bait. When this failed, and it did, creativity was born. Man figured out that if he could not use the insect, that he would imitate the insect.

When you consider this, fly fishing is the most basic application of fishing as a sport. Now we have graphite, boron, and kevlar composite. But, we still tie some of the same feathers to a hook and try to fool the fish into thinking that it is something that it is not. I do the same in the salt…tying feathers to a hook in an effort to make my hook look like a crab. Prehistoric man would be proud. Finally, I fly fish because there is a gentleman’s spirit that is preserved in the sport that is not present in many other places. While I am the rock and roll, heavy metal, fly fisherman of the next generation, I still maintain the courtesy to other anglers that Walton did. And, though there are some exceptions to this rule that I call pricks, most of the other fly fishermen do the same. This may be as giving as loaning a rod to a man you have never met because he broke his and has no other way to fish over his vacation. Or, it may be as simple as handing a smoke to a guy you are standing next to on a river while you are waiting for the spinners to fall. The point is that in large part, it is there. In fly fishing, there is always someone there to help you. That may be a guy that owns a store, or a customer in that store. It may be a guy with a web site on another continent, or a guy in the Midwest that knows a little something about fishing in saltwater. For whatever reason, it is there, and with any luck it will be there well past the time I see my last rise.

That is why I do it.

Courtesy of Bradley "MadBrad" Wesner

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