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.
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1. Bonefishing beats therapy!
2. My Acklins Island Bahamian guide told me his grandfather used to catch bonefish by stealthily throwing a shrimp/hook/heavy line at them. Why? To eat them, of course, and he probably didn’t have a fly rod!
3. Bonefish probably taste pretty good… Look at all the cudas, sharks and ospreys that want to eat them! We could too if we were that serious.
4. I can remember my first stalk of a large bonefish that was rooting around in the mangroves at the bottom of a small rock flanked cove. The stalk proceeded with the guide in the center and my buddy on the other end. I remember the heightened awareness, the pumping blood in the head, the dry mouth, the fine tremor, & the tunnel vision (causing us to miss the double digit bone flanking us that blew up the whole party). These and similar hunts help me connect to my more human roots (for better or worse!).
Keep up the great work and motivation!