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Why We Fish

Updated on May 1, 2015
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The Strength Of The River

Fishing isn’t just something we do to get away. It is a way, a way of life. The feeling of being alone in nature or with a friend, walking the river, analyzing the currents and finding the pockets and holes has something to it that can’t be described. Finding the perfect seam where fish sit and wait for the right bug to drift by, anticipating their next meal. Getting to know a river is a type of connection with nature that few really understand. You have to experience it to truly know what I’m talking about, yet even I can’t completely explain it. Some describe it as a spiritual experience. Maybe it goes back to our innate instinct of survival, or is it just a hobby that taps into many different senses and emotions?

The air is filled with the scents of trees, grass and sagebrush mixed with the cold humid mist from the river. The rocks are crawling with life and the surrounding scenery is majestic. The rush of the water around your legs lets you feel the power of the river as it cuts through mountain ravines and valley floors. At first the sound of the rolling water fills the air but soon becomes common as an undertone to the sounds of crickets, flies and birds hard at work. To hear the zip of a real stripping line almost stops your breath and the wisp of casting line increases your heart rate.

When you finally lay out a gentle cast sprawling across the water, your hands and fingers key in to the feel of the water’s flow. Then stopping your heart for an instant before adrenaline spikes is the visual ripple of a fish striking your fly floating inches from a partially visible rock. The fight can’t be totally comprehended in words because so much happens in a matter of a couple minutes. You can feel the lightning fast movement of the fish in the flex of your rod. You have to gently bring him to shore guiding him away from stronger currents, potential snags, and untapped waters. Keep your line tight so he can’t throw the fly but not too tight for fear you’ll break your line. You have to get a sense for when the fish is ready to give in, if you try to muscle him into your net he might surprise you with the most violent burst yet. When you have convinced him to come to shore and you sink your net deep into the water and bring the fish up you feel the satisfaction of success. And as long as you’ve got time you have a chance of doing it all again, enjoying another few minutes in the perfect setting away second only to home.

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