I used all the key phrases that would get the approving nod from my contemporaries. Words like, challenge,
So what makes me a true angler? If I were to remove the nice gear and replace it with the worst possible equipment-would I still hold the passion? If I were to be dropped into a situation where the only place I had to cast a fly were to bluegill in an algae laden farm pond-would I still hold the passion? If I had never started this blog or stepped out as a writer of fly fishing- would I still hold the passion. If all the key words and catch phrases were removed from my rather limited vocabulary- would I still hold the passion?
In all honesty, after much introspection, the answer would be yes. You see, as far as a great...or even good fly fisherman...I am at a loss. More times than not my cast is not pretty and if I am in the water for more than three hours it is a certainty that I will manage to create a mess of my leader that would be in league with the Rubik's Cube in difficulty to repair. I am often quite clumsy as I wade, and the biggest fear I have in life is drowning. My flies are not pristine, and my selection looks more mutant than even an attractor pattern might imply. As a fly fisherman, I am just about as undone as you will find.
Therefore, without an abundance of skill and a limited perspective, I am faced with a burning question
I cannot even try to imagine myself NOT being one.
This sport is as much a part of me as my next breath, much as a runner with his or her next stride. The great race horse Secretariat was said to have a heart larger than is common for a horse. Larger heart meant an incredible blood flow and an expanded capacity to do that which it was born to do. I can see myself in no less of a term.
If you fish with me, it is a near certainty that you will outfish me. I know this to be so because of the number of times it has actually occurred. For me the epic day is nothing more than blind luck. I can read the water well thanks in great part to Tom Rosenbauer. I can understand the methodology of fly selection, casting, and most other things that encompass a day in the water. But all the information in the world will not make you a great angler. There comes a time when skill must take over...and in that department I am most lacking.
Yet I continue to frail about, stumble, make messes, and admire those of whom I spend time on the water. I get so frustrated at times with myself that I curse under my breath at the bad luck or bad technique, yet the very next opportunity I have to fish, I will be there playing the role of jester in my own court again. Not because I am a glutton for punishment and self degradation. It is because I am a fly fisherman, and I cannot help but do that which I have found to be a very large part of me. Tangles and all.