This is a question I am often asked by friends and family. Often people say they can’t understand the point of sitting all day staring at a piece of water! Well if you are fly fishing, you will be on the move constantly thinking, thinking and casting. You may be stalking through the undergrowth trying to land your fly on the nose of a huge fish you have seen. You may be speeding over the waves in a boat on one of our huge still waters or creeping up the verges of a crystal clear stream. Whatever you are doing you will be connected with nature in a way you cannot experience by walking or watching.
In ancient times when man had to forage and hunt to survive there would have naturally been a feeling of joy when a deer was successfully shot or a wild boar trapped, this is a natural instinct which I believe is still present in a lot of people today. Those of us who fish still feel that jolt of excitement when we feel a fish connect with the end of the line. For those of us who decide to harvest fish for the table we do so understanding that we are taking a living thing to eat and we treat our quarry with respect and dispatch it humanely.
We also feel pleasure in having caught our own dinner which is free range, nutritious and good for us.
Fishing and fly fishing in general helps you clear your mind of everyday concerns and worries and you become connected with the of the natural world, often experiencing birds of prey chasing their quarry or kingfishers streaking in a flash of colour in front of your eyes. Taken to a more advanced level, you will need to understand the habits of your quarry, understand what insect life has hatched in the water recently and which of your artificial flies matches these insects at different times of the year. You will learn about different weather conditions and how it affects the fishing. You may need to cast quietly and accurately and blend in to the background vegetation.
Fly casting itself is a big competition sport and some of the experts are able to cast a fly line a phenomanal distance. Some of the best fly casters in the world who are victorious in the competitions don’t even go fishing! What ever your reason for going fishing once you start you tend to continue for the rest of your life. For many of us we get the same feeling now when we are fishing for trout as we did as small boys or girls when we were fishing for sticklebacks with a net and a jam jar!