Last week when presenting in Central Montana, I took the opportunity to go fishing on the Stillwater River.
Montana is a fly-fishing mecca. Fly fishermen from around the world come to Montana to fish the state’s hundreds of rivers and streams.
Fly fishing is pretty simple. All you need is a fly rod, some basic equipment, and a simple assortment of flies. Most of the hardcore fly fishermen have lots of highly specialized equipment worth thousands of dollars.
Fly fishing is an industry. There are fly shops, guides, and lots of manufacturers of rods, reels, waders, etc. I’m guessing that the guides don’t get rich from guiding – they do it because it gives them the chance to do what they love to do on a daily basis. And how cool is that?
I get the mindset of a fisherman. First and foremost, it’s about being outdoors. It’s the feeling of being alive and one with nature.
It’s also the competition – man versus fish. It takes skill to cast, let the fly float to a specific spot, continuously trim the line, and select the correct fly for the season and specific stream.
Fly fishing is also about the solitude and the camaraderie.
Standing in the river gives a person an opportunity to be completely alone with their thoughts.
Sitting around the campfire with your fishing buddies fulfills the human desire to be part of a select group.
Now the reality is, I’m more of a hiker than a fisherman. I haven’t taken the time to develop the necessary skills to be a really good fly fisherman. I don’t have the specialized gear and equipment that makes fly fishing fun.
I prefer the movement that hiking provides. I enjoy the continuously changing scenery that results from that movement.
But I understand and respect the mindset of the fly fisherman.
I like to hang out with fly fishermen.
I like to sit by the campfire with fly fishermen and hear their stories.
That’s why I went fishing last week – and why I’ll go fishing again in the future.
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Next Blog Date: October 18, 2012