Thursday, November 19, 2015

There is a season

There is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to build up, a time to break down.

A fixed length line system is the epitome of simplicity.  A stick, a string and a fly.  A perfect way to get someone fly fishing and catching fish with a minimum of time spent learning the intricacies of casting while managing long lengths of line.
What I find most interesting is it seems like for every beginner who is smiling ear to ear as a result of catching their first fish, there is a seasoned veteran who is also astream smiling ear to ear while fishing this very basic set up.   These well aged fishers for the most part have long since lost count of how many hours they have spent fishing and how many fish they have caught or lost.  They have spent multiple decades amassing large quantities of high quality tackle, yet they choose to leave it all at home and fish with only enough equipment to fill one hand and a shirt pocket.
One reason might be that everyone enjoys catching fish.  In many circumstance, there might not be a more effective way to catch large numbers of fish than by fishing tenkara.  On the other hand, to many of us old timers, the catching part of fishing has become much less important.  It’s replaced with the simple pleasure of standing knee high in a sparkling stream, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
Maybe it a momentary return to childhood,  I know it is for me.  My earliest fishing memories revolve around catching small pan fish using a willow branch for a rod, and a fly I tied up using a piece of kitchen sponge and some rubber bands.  Back then, I didn’t need an expensive rod (or any actual rod for that matter),  a reel or a vest full of flies to spend endless hours wondering what might next grab my hook.
I find myself needing and even wanting a whole lot less stuff as I get older.  Simplicity has a certain allure.  Time spent doing worthwhile things has become much more important to me than the urge to entertain myself by buying things.  I find generally I’m just as happy, if not  actually happier, with less stuff.  It seems like that has carried over into my time spent fishing.

I'm not really sure I totally understand it, but I know I'm not alone.  I've talked to enough other old geezers to be convinced there is something to it.  The one thing I do know, it feels good to be out there and find myself unconciously smiling like a little boy.

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