What makes fly – fishing unique? Is it unique or is it an idea that’s been attached to it? There are easier ways of fishing, all you really need to catch a fish is a piece of string, a hook, and a worm. Are the fancy rods, reels, floating lines, intermediate lines, sinking lines, leaders and tippets necessary?
When I started fly-fishing about seven years ago, it was something I always wanted to do, I even bought a couple of books about it in the 70’s, (I still have those books). As far as I knew fly-fishing was just for catching trout, other fish weren’t exalted enough to catch by this holy method. In any case where would I find trout? Other fish could be found in any piece of water, but trout needed clear mountain streams in places that were out of my reach.
I have always fished. One of my earliest memories is a hook in the calf of my right leg. My uncle Ralph cut the point and barb off the hook with a pliers, and pulled the hook out. He praised me for being brave, and said I was now a true fisherman. (I hadn’t caught a fish yet). I must have been between five and six years old.
While we were living in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in the 1950’s, I remember nagging my father to stop at a stream that ran about 100m below the road on the way home from boarding school. This was when he used to fetch my brother and I from boarding school in a small town called Chipinga. This happened every time we passed this spot, at least once a month. My nagging was to no avail. At this point I must have been about nine years old.
Then one Friday on our way home from boarding school, my dad suddenly slowed the car, and turned off the road to the pool. In the boot of the car he had a small rod, reel with line, floats, hooks and a can of worms. “Now you can fish for the next two hours he said.” I was delirious with joy.
To continue (as they say in the classics).