The Search Part 1

The Search Part 1

Andy Dear | Sunday, 26 January 2020

Those who have a why to live can bear with almost any how.

---Viktor Frankl

  A few weeks ago I wrote a Front Page titled "Perspectives" that detailed my thoughts about fishing being a craft, as opposed to say, a sport or a hobby. The more thought I have put into this over the last few weeks, the stronger I feel that for me at least, fishing more than anything else is indeed a craft. A few days after that essay ran, I noticed that Paul had written a piece that referenced "Perspectives" numerous times. I feel very honored that "Perspectives" struck such a nerve with Paul, that he was inspired to write a Front Page of his own detailing his thoughts about the "whys" of his lifelong love affair with chasing fish with the long rod.

  To be honest, I don't really know where to start with this week's Front Page. My initial thoughts on the subject were to explore the reasons why we fly fish. And, of course, like many things in life, the reasons are complex, varied and often not accessible by just merely scratching the surface. But more than that, they are many times in a constant state of evolution, making the search all the more difficult. Fishing...especially fly fishing can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people. And, after much contemplation on the subject, I've come to the conclusion that for me personally, the reasons I fish in the year 2020, are quite far removed from the reasons I fished in 1995. Not necessarily better or worse in any particular way, just different.

  What I can tell you, is that the reasons I fish go far beyond the actual act of catching fish. And, contemplating the subject matter for this article has forced me to dig deep and come to terms with the fact that there really isnt any one particular, overwhelming reason why I fish. Ironically, many of those reasons are what I would refer to as peripheral to the act of angling itself. For example, in a Front Page that ran last year, I detailed how Jackson and I have fallen in love with an estuary on the Texas Coast called Powderhorn Lake. Aside from the often spectacular flats fishing that can be experienced there, my love for fishing Powderhorn has as much to do with the memorable experiences my dad had there back in the 1960s, as it does anything related to angling. Those tales he shared with me of wade fishing for magnum-sized Speckled Trout and Redfish when I was a kid held an almost mythical status in my young mind. And later in my life, it would be those childhood memories that would become a motivator for me to take my son there, so that there is now a bonified tradition and connection between our family and Powderhorn Lake. I find a real sense of peace and fulfillment in being able to sink my footprints in the same patch of muddy bottomed marsh that my dad did. And, it is my hope that Jackson will feel that same sense of gratification when he gets older.

  If we wanted to get real specific, I could tell you that the reasons why I fish with spinning and casting gear, are different than the reason why I fish with a fly rod. In a general sense, the motivation is the same, but each method provides a different sort of emotional, psychological and more often than not, spiritual satisfaction. It is these differences that have become the impetus for the next few essays I plan to write. I'd really like to delve deeper...much deeper into the "whys" of our passion for this craft. Partly because I do believe that there is as "why" to all of this, but also because I believe that anyone willing to take the trip down the rabbit hole to explore the "whys" will ultimately gain a much a greater understanding of oneself.

  On a separate note, I'd like to give a bit of airtime to my friend and colleague Jimmy Jacobs. Jimmy was the Editor for the online Magazine Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing, a publication for which I had the privilege of writing for back in the Fall of 2018. Jimmy has a new online Magazine called On The Fly South, that covers fly fishing in the Southern USA, as well as the Carribean and Central America. I've never known Jimmy to put out anything less than a first class publication, and this project should be no different. I'd like to invite all of you to subscribe (it's free!) at

Hope you all have a great week!