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The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan
Bring up the topic of fly fishing with any angler and watch the eyes light up with a passionate fire. Be prepared for hours of stories of fly fishing experiences, successes, and failure to catch the “big one” this year, but next year, for sure the prize will be won. The fly fisherman will delight in showing off a vast collection of flies with detailed descriptions of their construction and materials with the preferences of their prey fish well studied in the quest to design that perfect lure.
For those unfamiliar with the passion for fishing, it can come as some surprise to realize that fishing for the avid fisherman is much more than occasionally hanging a line in the water to catch dinner for the evening. A fishing vacation is a 24 hour a day obsession. The fisherman is getting ready to go fishing, on the water fishing, cleaning the caught fish and preparing the gear for the next round, or talking about fishing. Every fish caught has a story with an excited moment-by-moment replay of events. Like a virus, once caught, the passion for fishing lies evermore in the mind to be unleashed by opportunity.
So what is a fisherman to do in between those opportunities to be on the water in seek of prey? Some learn the craft of creating artificial flies, those lures used in fly fishing to attract and catch fish. Artificial flies, or fly tying hackle, use materials such as feathers, hair, furs, threads, cork, tinsels, or synthetic materials that are tied in specific patterns attractive to specific species of fish, such as trout, salmon, or saltwater fish. In addition to the hook to capture the striking fish, a weight is included, made of beads or glass.
Fly tying can be a challenging, though relaxing, hobby that many fly fishermen find very rewarding. It’s an art in itself requiring skill and patience with a beautifully tied fly being a well-earned source of pride and accomplishment. The activity of fly tying offers an escape to the hobbyist’s favorite river or stream in memory of past experiences and anticipation of those yet to come. Those skilled in fly tying can offer their flies for sale to pay for the new rod and gear or that next fishing adventure.
If you have the fly fishing passion and yearn to take that next step, try fly tying in between fishing trips to get your “fix” and keep the sport a part of your life with a enjoyable hobby. Who knows? You may just create that lure that is irresistible to the “big one.”