9 April 2006
| Page: 1
Fly-fishing has given me a lot. My best friends are fly-fishers; my favourite places in the world to be are fly-fishing spots. There really is nothing Iíd rather do. I meet people who regard this as pathetic, as if I should get a life or something, but the way I look at it I do pretty well everything they do, and a lot more. I mean, I hold down a real job, pay a mortgage, read books and go to the movies, I surf the net, shop, listen to music, go to the pub, and watch X-Factor, just like they do. I even hold up my end in a relationship, sort of. But unlike the non-fly fishers I know, I have this whole other world - literally outside of all that. Apart from worrying about their children turning into Death Metal freaks, it makes me wonder just what the non-fly-fisher people actually do with all that spare time.
Oh sure, there are hobbies, but thatís different. Thatís filling in time, like Bingo. You have to be convinced thereís an afterlife to get involved in a hobby. Fly-fishing is certainly no hobby. And itís no game. Unlike games like golf and football, which for many can be pretty engrossing for sure, fly-fishing is like a separate way of life. Unfortunately, it has been turned into something of a game on the put and take stockie waters, with teams, rules, scores and a competitive league table. Itís all about whoís got the technical edge and whoís on top, and, frankly, the whole business bores the crap out of me. No offence intended.
The thing about real fly-fishing is that itís completely open-ended. You really donít know how itís going to turn out. And I donít mean whoís going to win. Itís more like what youíre going to find. Unlike a game, where the rules of play, probable outcomes and the known scores of others are always in mind, fly-fishing is all about the unknown. And I donít mean in some big spooky way. Even the undercut bank of a tiny creek, or a weedy corner in your local reservoir is unknown territory, a mystery, and can hide great things, comparatively speaking. But, hey, if you want to get big and spooky about it, there is always the ocean. The sea is the unknown. Walk down to the seaside with a fly rod in your hand and see if it feels any different from padding along the trimmed banks of your local put and take water. There may be kids with buckets and spades playing on the beach, but to you itís a whole new frontier. You feel like you should maybe keep your wits about you.