A Fun Summer of Fly Fishing

The author fly fishing the Bow River
Summer 2020

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”

A River Runs Through It

Fly fishing is a new sport I had gotten into this past summer. 

For me, it was just exhilarating being out on the water. Coupled with a new pair of waders, it meant that this time would be that much more enjoyable. 

Being outside in nature’s playground meant the world to me. With a rod and line in hand I was able to just let it go (no pun intended!) My only focus was on casting the fly at the end of the line out into the spacious water I was surrounded by. Then, doing it over and over again.

“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”

A River Runs Through It

“The cast is so soft and slow that it can be followed like an ash settling from a fireplace chimney. One of life’s quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful, even if it is only a floating ash.”

A River Runs Through It

Feeling the wind on my face, the force of the under-current, and the release of a loaded line all made each outing worthwhile. The crowning moment would come when I got to see the sunset. Each time, the multi-coloured sky would take my breath away. Equally important, was the glistening of the sun’s reflection dancing on the water’s surface. It was all I could do to stand motionless with the river rushing past me. Other than the previous night’s spectacular display of evening colours, it was the best motion picture I had ever seen! 

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of mind.”

Washington Irving

As I reflect on this past summer’s hobby I realize I had learned some important lessons. One was the mechanics of actually being able to cast the fly into the water. And before that was possible, being able to tie some basic knots of the lines and a variety of flies.

I also learned the value of detaching myself from the world and being able to release it all into the open waters, each time I stepped in off the shore. 

I further learned to just be still (hard thing for me to do!) And, to focus on the feeling of the two-to-ten O’clock casting motion and the freeing release that came from each fluid cast. 

I also learned to remove most of the expectations I brought to the stream in hopes of trying to land a fish. The fish weren’t the point. I already knew this going in to the season; yet, I would forgot it many times. So, slowly I had to re-learn this basic aspect of fishing – or of any hobby or sport. 

Most of all, I learned to have fun again by getting in touch with my younger, playful self and allowing him to go there more often. That is, to engage and immerse myself fully in the water as it has always been the primary context of having fun during my childhood. 

I know it’ll soon be time to take out my skis and skates, but already, I am looking forward to going fishin’ next summer. 

One thought on “A Fun Summer of Fly Fishing”

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