Catching Fish by Hand

July 12, 2011 Comments (0) Fishing Techniques, Fly Fishing

What’s So Special about Fly-Fishing?

I have a confession to make. I don’t see what’s so special about fly-fishing. Now before you form a mob, light your torches and grab your pitchforks, let me explain. I don’t mind fly-fishing. I have been enough times and experienced enough success that I can form an opinion. And I just don’t get it.


I only bring this up because I have seen a lot of guys go absolutely nuts about fly-fishing. I used to think it was all about the guys’ personalities. But these guys don’t just get to where they really like fly-fishing—they go totally nuts. They start dropping crazy money on rods and waders and hats and special fish baskets. And the flies. They spend a fortune on flies.


And again, I get it. The flies are hand-made and they mimic special insects and blah blah blah. But the prices people pay. Seriously? I’ve caught hundreds of largemouth bass on an old beat up Jitterbug that cost me $2.99 in 1988. And these guys will spend some serious money.


Whether bass-fishing, trot-lining, frog gigging, or whatever else people get themselves into, it’s rare to find someone who gets more fanatical about an outdoor sport than the hardcore fly-fishermen. So what is it about this sport that is so addictive? I have some theories.


One theory is that fly-fishing, more than most other forms of fishing and outdoor sports, offers solitude. Just based on the logistics of casting and river-fishing, you have to have some space. You are alone with your thoughts, your rod and your flies. You hear the rolling water and you sit and you wait. You cast and you wait. It’s peaceful. It’s rhythmic. Maybe that’s it.


Another theory is that it attracts people who have to become masters of something to be happy. Any dolt can toss a spinner bait and drag in a few fish. Anyone can put stink bait on a treble hook and stare at a bobber. But fly-fishing requires some skill and a great deal of patience.


My last theory (for now at least) is that fly-fishermen just love the species that get caught. Maybe it’s that I don’t go crazy for rainbow trout. But, any flier will tell you that you can catch so many more species with flies.


So I usually try to be informative on here, but I’m asking for your help. What is it that makes fly-fishing so addictive? I know that some of you all are those people. So what is it that got you hooked?




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