There’s a sinister side to fly fishing. One’s entrance into the sport is often innocent enough. Like many before me, it’s nothing more than the next step in the evolution of a fisherman who’s looking for a way to catch more fish or perhaps find a greater challenge in doing so.
But if fly fishing were a living and breathing thing, it’d be the Borg.
Slowly, you find that you’d rather fish than eat — I’ve lost more weight when fishing. (Only to regain it later with the unsound rationalization that I somehow can calorically afford a huge steak. And beer.) Sleep becomes an inconvenience to arriving streamside at sunrise. Work serves to only fund the acquisition of new gear, flies and too many lines, rods and reels.
They say the first signs of an addiction go unnoticed. That second rod, then a third, are justified as “back ups.” Another reel, ‘cause you need it for those back up rods. One more rod in a different weight; either to gain an advantage over bigger fish or to offer a fair chance to smaller ones. Thankfully, this accumulated paraphernalia can hide in the garage.
Then, if you’re
really unlucky not paying attention, the Wife will find that first fly tying vise attached to the dinner table. Around it may be scattered thread, feathers, and perhaps a few hairs from the dog and cat. Not to mention surgically sharp hooks lost in the carpet. Over time, an allowance is made for a TV tray to be left in the corner of the den, overflowing with materials amassed from fly shops, craft stores and the irresistible treasure troves offered up free by fellow fly fishermen who’ve been told volunteered to clear out years of collected fly tying provisions.
Try as I might, it seems there’s no turning back. So I’ve given in.
Just before Thanksgiving, hidden in a darkened garage and
goaded on guided by a fellow addict, I will choose a fly rod blank, a grip, a reel seat and guides.
Come January, I will begin to build a fly rod. Resistance is futile.