I know many of you are probably asking yourself "who the heck is Alec Katzman?" Alec is a former professional golfer that I met years ago on an internet forum. We became friends through our shared love of traditional golf equipment, good music, and sarcastic humor. Apart from being a helluva striker of the golf ball, and an even better teacher of said skill, he is also part philosopher, part satirist, part teacher, part writer and part comedian. Which as you can probably imagine makes for some really interesting and insightful conversations. I bring Alec up in this week's Front Page, because years ago when he shared the quote above with me about golf being a "bet", it struck me as a really uniqe way of looking at what most of us would say is a game. I found it so interesting that I began to make a concerted attempt to look at the activities I participate in from different and unique perspectives.
Recently I got to thinking about the term "craft" and what is it exactly that defines or separates a "craft" from say a "sport" or a "game" or some other activity. A quick search on Google reveals multiple definitions, but the one I relate to the best defines a craft as a noun in terms of "an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, especially manual skill". And as a verb "to make or manufacture (an object, objects, product, etc.) with skill and careful attention to detail."
I've always thought of my involvement with designing and building fishing rods as a craft, as I do with fly tying or lure making as well. After all, they do require manual skill that is equal parts construction and art. But more deeply, shouldn't the activity of fishing itself be considered a craft? I think we could all agree that it requires great manual skill, and is indeed in some part a form of art....although how much depends greatly on who you talk to. If we look at it from the standpoint of a verb, as in "to make or manufacture (an object, objects, product, etc.) with skill and careful attention to detail" I think a very sound argument could be made that the actual EXPERIENCE that is manufactured during and through the act of fishing itself qualifies it as a craft.
One of the things I have always loved about Sexyloops is that it seems to attract a lot of folks who maybe flirt with the outer limits of fly fishing in both physical skill and metaphysical thought or philosophy...dare I use the term "lunatic fringe"! Having said that the perspective of "creating or manufacturing an EXPERIENCE through the craft of fishing" is one of great interest to me and one I'd love to explore in greater detail. Honestly, it's forcing my long-held beliefs of what fishing actually IS in both performance and purpose to evolve at light speed. And, it's not even necessarily the speed that I am intrigued with. Its the possibility...no make that the probability that the direction and trajectory of this new path may end up in a place of a much greater understanding of what we're doing all this for.
Hope you all you fellow fly fishing lunatics have a great week!