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Ronan's report

Tuesday 19th August, 2008

Why do you enjoy fly fishing?

I used to wonder about this myself. Then I met some amazing folks from Project Healing Waters and put the question to one of them. His response was enlightening.

Having spent four years in a hospital and undergoing several operations you can imagine he was feeling pretty depressed. Then one day someone from Healing Waters invited him on a drift boat outing. I could see the light in his eyes as he described being driven through the hospital gates for the first time in over a year and getting out on the river for the day. It was about the peace and serenity that comes from floating down the river. It was the excitement and satisfaction that came from catching and landing fish in spite of his disabilities. At some point during the day he came to realize that he was only as limited as he allowed himself to be.

If any of the people from Healing Waters read this I want to personally thank you for sharing your stories with myself and many others.

Since that time I've also become aware of other things that attract me to fly fishing. To begin with it is a lifelong learning experience. One only has to venture over to the Board to realize that nobody has all of the answers and it is unlikely that they ever will in spite of a lot of discussion, experimentation, and ongoing research.

Secondly, and more importantly, is the social aspect of flyfishing. Perhaps it's the inner peace amd self confidence that many fly fishers attain from the sport but I have yet to meet a fly fisher that I didn't like (sorry for the paraphrasing Mr. Rogers). Fly fishers always seem happy to share information and stop and chat about their day. They get excited about a new fly pattern or learning a new cast. They genuinely care about their environment. There are very few things better than a day on the water fly fishing with friends except, perhaps, a day on the water fly fishing with your life partner. As an instructor I've noticed a trend that women have begun to embrace the sport. Happily for me that includes my wife, Susan.


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