Thoughts from Flatswalker

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.

Davin, in FL

Davin, in FL

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.

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  1. I agree about the casting, and I agree about the flies, although these two things are only a part of the whole experience. There is also the art of tying of the flies, both impressionistic and exacting, with the plethora of beautiful, exotic and interesting materials from all kinds of animals and birds as well as man made materials . As well as the equipment, rods and reels, their beauty and function. And the stalking of the fish, being stealthy and quiet and from our experiences, being able to spot them and know their habits. And don’t forget the locations, we fish in some of the most spectacularly beautiful places on this earth. In some cases it is also about the comradery, the friends and relatives we fish with and the people we meet on the water or at the fly shop. Each of us may have one of these things that is “the heart and sole” of fly fishing for them, for me, it’s all these things and more.

  2. Marshall Cutchin

    “It’s like robbing a bank with a picture of a gun drawn on a post-it-note.” Wonderful.

  3. Bjorn likes to tie and write about flies (especially perforce a trip)…
    Davin likes to talk about casting (he even does videos-google You-Tube)…
    David is an impressionistic landscape artist so he probably prefers the big picture. Check his link by clicking his name; They are wonderful, BTW.
    Even bonefish are different!

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