Forty-five years of fly-fishing has taught me a thing or two but it’s the fun that I remember the most — except for a few moments of disaster, like being chased by a bull and ripping my waders to shreds in a barbed wire fence. Fly-fishing is supposed to be fun, exciting, adventurous, and relaxing.
1. Don’t leave your sense of humor behind. Even the professionals catch a tree, hook the bank, or miss a fish. Errors are inevitable; they keep us humble and motivate us toward improvement. There is always another chance.
2. Don’t skimp on lunch. Sitting by the river with a friend, sharing a fine lunch while watching the wildlife and river are as much a part of fishing as the fish. Even better — lunch followed by a short nap in the sun.
3. Don’t wade too deeply. Feeling safe is an important part of enjoying your time in the water. Beware of the tall person who says, “Follow me, we can cross here.”
4. Don’t get lazy and forget to use your rod case. Fly rod cases are used for storage for a good reason. Breakage can result from car doors, rods falling off of cars, dogs jumping in cars, rods being left loose in the back of cars. A broken rod can ruin a day.
5. Don’t call a fly rod a “pole.” Huck Finn had a pole. Today’s fly rods are a thing a beauty. They are designed to be cast with little effort and with amazing accuracy.