Life. Death. And Fly Fishing.
We tend to take ourselves really seriously. I don’t know why, but we do. It feels serious. It all feels so important. I have to think this is some throwback to hunter-gatherer days when it really was that serious. There is some hold-over, some evolutionary current running from the planes of Africa up through your feet and your arm and out your fly line as you cast toward a fish you aren’t even going to eat.
I think of The River Why and A River Runs Through It, the two big works of fiction I think of when I think of fly fishing. They both are concerned, to one degree or another, with either death or the existential questions of life.
I think of my story in the first Pulp Fly and I’ll tell you, I had an impulse to send the character’s car into head-on collision at the end of it.
I don’t know why we place such life and death import to casting fur and feathers around at fish. I can also say, fully understanding the contradiction there, that it feels well placed despite the obvious ridiculousness of it.