I like fly fishing for the solitude it can bring into a person's life. Standing at the river, alone with nature in that way that confirms and affirms life, we are revitalized to return and be among people and back to our day-to-day lives. And, of course, we fly fish with a friend or two, our fishing buddies, and spend time on the river or at the lake. Over the past couple of years, though, I have also come to see how anglers come together in a fly fishing culture, in a fly fishing community, and enjoy the shared experiences both on and off the water.
Fly fishermen and fisherwomen certainly share a common language: We talk fly types and fly sizes, colors, and profiles; dry or wet; streamer, terrestrials, midge and pupae. We talk of hatches. We speak of rod flex and speed. We talk about rivers in a way that is a foreign language to others not in the know: seams and flows, cfs, feeding columns, riffles, pools, and structures.
Over this past year, I have come to see how fly fishers come together as a community. We work to protect our natural, as well as our human, resources. A group came together to clean up the Dream Stream in the fall of 2015. We are members of Trout Unlimited, engaged in work that conserves our cold water fisheries. We work together with Project Healing Water, bringing the experience of fly fishing and fly tying to veterans who have served to protect us. Small groups within the fly fishing community join up with others to educate and inform the broader community on these efforts, too.
Large-scale events bring us together. The Fly Fishing Film Tour in February is one such event that brings fly fishers together to celebrate the awe and wonder of the sport. Or as Hank Patterson says, "to watch other guys catch fish. What could be more beautiful than that?" The Sportsman Expo and other events bring us together to learn, to indulge in our wish-lists, to see new products. Our Colorado Springs Fishing Show on March 5, 2016 brings anglers together to learn -- it's an open classroom to this adventure.
And there is Tuesday night's Open Fly Tying event at the shop. Maybe the evening is just an excuse to get together to swap fishing stories and tie a few flies with some other folks. Maybe, too, it is an opportunity to share a laugh, give some tips, and connect with another person about a shared passion.
And maybe part of the beauty of Open Tie Night is that we connect just briefly before we head out -- whether "out" is that spot on the South Platte or "out" is back to the office. Maybe that's what brings us to the tying table on Open Tie Night.
Maybe part of the beauty of fly fishing is that it allows us to feel just a bit more a part of this world around us.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside