"To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." ~ Norman Maclean from the book "A River Runs Through It"
Out of all the memorable quotes from Maclean's book, this one sticks with me. I think of how much I have learned about flyfishing in the last few years (I'm a relative newcomer to the sport) and how much I continue to learn each time out. And how much more there is to learn. And I think that is the beauty of it all.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, argues that to reach a level of expertise and mastery, a person needs to devote about 10,000 hours to the craft. Although that "10,000 hour rule" has been challenged, it makes sense to consider how how much time needs to be devoted to mastering this art of flyfishing. It is such a multi-faceted endeavor -- nymphing, dry fly, streamer, winter spring summer fall, small stream to still water -- that it is truly an opportunity for life-long learning.
Whether in a class in the shop, or in a streamside class, or simply by being out on the river learning through trial and error -- or more likely a combination of all of those -- the commitment to the art of flyfishing is part of the adventure.
The good news? 10,000 hours immersed in flyfishing. Is this awesome, or what?
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside