By: Cameren Shinabery
It’s early, really early as you lay awake in bed. It’s still in the twilight hours, as the cool moist morning air fills the room & your lungs. The warm blanket gives comfort on this crisp summer morning and it would be easy to return to sleep, but our mind is anxious & sleep is now impossible.
Our thoughts race with excitement because on this morning, we’re finally going fly fishing. From outside the window, the soothing sounds of song birds awaken our ears as we are encouraged to our feet. Simple thoughts of the days preparation’s fill your mind, a week’s worth of stress has long faded into the peaceful silence of daybreak & the mind is calm.
The smells of fresh coffee tease our nose as we pack the gear needed for the day’s activities. Pouring ourselves a cup of steaming fresh coffee, we’re alone in the freshness of the day. Taking a few minutes to wake, we check the computer for information on the river flows, hatches & the days weather. Feeling confident in the preparations, we load into our vehicle for the drive to the water.
Seeing hints of the sunrise on the horizon, butterflies in your stomach create positive feelings of excitement. Reaching the rivers edge before the the sun’s rays have a chance to touch the water, you’re relaxed. In the chill of the morning our waders offer a fly fisher some welcomed warmth against the early morning nip. With an eye on the water, for bugs or any sign of trout, we string up our lines. Taking extra time, narrowing down the type of bug, size of hook & color options from the fly box to first toss into the water.
As we step into the river, our ears are consumed with the relaxing sounds of the passing water. We become more aware of the appeasing & sedative fragrance of the outdoors. As our concentration changes focus to the soft pocket water that trout love, we wade into position for that first presentation.
Making some false casts measuring distance & placement our fly lands with a delicate accuracy. Muscle memory takes over after years on the fly, as we mend lines & lift or lower rod tip working on presenting that perfect drift. The sun rises, unnoticed to the fly fisher, as our attention remains on the river & the flies placement. Playing the currents & the wind, fly fishing demands perseverance & patience as we become comfortable with the basic skills trout fishing requires. Paying our dues to Mother Nature, chasing trout on the fly & honing our craft is always time well invested in ourselves.
The return on that investment, is a lifetime of quality shared time with family & friends in the great outdoors.
The true greatness of an accomplished fly fisher, or a life spent on the fly, is not measured simply by the number or size of fish caught. It is measured by moments in time, of an epic shared memory on the water with others. Meeting old friends on the water or creating new ones. Fly fishing has the ability to positively impact peoples lives & heal some of the mental health issues in our society today.
Fly fishing is a way of life, finding time for ourselves while being a mentor for others.