Fishing is the most popular sport in the world. The reasons for its popularity are many. Fishermen are enthralled by the possibility of a battle between themselves and that hidden beast below the waves. With outdoor fishing we are calmed by the surroundings of nature, the relaxation of the gentle rays of the sun and the soft sound of the lapping waves on the hull of the boat. The music of fishing is the hum of the outboard motor and the sound of waves or river waters splashing, lapping, gurgling against the or shore or boat. Simply being in nature; waiting, listening, thinking, hoping are all parts of the magic of fishing.
From cane pole pennies to sophisticated offshore rigs, many are the tools of this grand sport. But to us, there is one style which is the finest example of fishing: Fly fishing. Though complicated, it is an art that when learned, opens the door to the truest of fishing thrills. Being offshore trolling between the rolling waves or floating on a boat on a great lake, or even barefoot treks in stream pools cannot compare to the art and science of the fly fisherman who must present his skills, match the hatch and be ever vigilant in his quest for success.
Each type of fishing has its tackle and skill requirements and fly fishing is the most demanding. When the requisite skill to cast is learned then this fisherman has success even before entering the water.
Although skill is required to fly fish the tackle requirements are simple. Fiberglass or composite material is the better choice for the pole but the split bamboo fly rod has a definite appeal if the fisherman has deep enough pockets. The fly line must match the pole in weight and type. There are two kinds of reels. The automatic which retrieves line at the press of a lever and is of great help when a fish is on the line. The manual retrieve reel is the more popular for its light weight and understated beauty.
Watching a fly fisherman in a stream working the fly line back in forth over his target is like looking at a painting in a museum. And to some of us, the tools of the trade are works of art. For me, there is no greater masterpiece than the three piece, nine foot split bamboo fly rod bearing my name that was rebuilt by my father and I.
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