Flatswalker wrote a great little bit about casting, about the cast being the heart and soul of fly fishing and about how casting is not about strength, but about finesse.
Of course, I now realize that it was exactly my own effort that defeated me. Casting is about finesse and control, not strength, and certainly not anger.
I pretty much agree with all of that. I think about how little energy it takes a casting master to lay out their line and then contrast that with the effort less accomplished anglers put into their casting strokes and you can see a clear distinction.
However, I have a different view about where the heart and soul of our quiet sport can be found.
For me, it is the fly that sets us apart. When we catch a fish we have fooled it with the fly… something that is, on its own, scentless and lifeless. It might be easier to attach a shrimp to a hook, or a crab, the actual food these fish are seeking. It might be easier to put some scent on the fly to light up the olfactory senses of our target species. But we don’t do those things. We throw bits of metal with feather and fur and we inject life into them.
It’s like robbing a bank with a picture of a gun drawn on a post-it-note. It is artistry, both in the fly and in the presentation of the fly.