Our day to day lives can be stressful and hectic. When it comes to unwinding, decompressing, and taking a step back there are many activities to choose from. A favorite pastime of many people that has been growing in popularity is the relaxing sport of fly fishing.
Fly fishing is a sport allows you to connect with nature and escape the rat race, even if just for a short time. A sport that is accessible to a range of ages and abilities, it can be done solo or with friends and family.
Since it is an outdoor activity, fly fishing is great way to find tranquility while offering the excitement that comes with the hunt for “the big one”. While there will be many fishing stories that accompany the adventure, the most precious gift that fly fishers will experience during their outings is peace as they take the time to immerse themselves in the moment.
The history of fly fishing
While fly fishing was mentioned for the first time in text in 1653 in Izaac Walton’s book The Complete Angler, the roots of the sport can be traced back to second-century Rome. It is believed that the sport became popular in fifteenth-century England.
Long before America became a country, fish was an important part of the diet for native populations and settlers. Fly fishing became a prevalent form of catching the abundant fish available in lakes, rivers, and streams.
The ins and outs of fly fishing
Though fly fishing methods have evolved over the centuries, today’s fly fishing requires some skill, lots of patience, and specific techniques that must be learned to be successful. While for many, catching fish while fly fishing might be a secondary goal to relaxation, beginners will want to understand the sport’s basics.
The easiest way to learn the basics of fly fishing is to either know an experienced angler who can show you the ropes or hire a guide to help you jump right in.
Selecting the proper equipment
Having the right equipment will make your fly fishing experience more enjoyable. When starting out, you might be hesitant to shell out a too much money on equipment you may not end up using very often. Luckily, the basic equipment needed can be found easily and only requires a few key items.
One option to ensure you get the correct equipment is to purchase a beginner's package through a sporting equipment store.
The essential items that are required for fly fishing include:
- A fly rod and reel - The best option is to purchase these pieces of equipment together to ensure they fit together correctly. While the prices vary from under $100 to over $1,000, beginners should get something in the mid-price range. Equipment that is too cheap and poorly made will not allow you to fully enjoy your time fly fishing.
- Flies – Flies are essential to attracting fish to your line. The best way to ensure you purchase the right flies for your fishing area is to consult a local supply store. They will know what the local fish prefer.
- A fly line including backing, a leader, and a tippet - These can also be purchased together.
Other important items for beginners include a fishing net to help when you hook a big one, a fishing vest to hold your flies and other miscellaneous equipment, and waders to protect your lower body from getting wet.
There are multiple techniques to fly fishing. The most basic cast is the overhead cast which brings the fly line over your head before casting it in front of you. Other casts include the roll cast, the steeple cast, the double haul cast, and the bow and arrow cast. There are many great resources online that show these techniques in detail.
Finding your zen by finding the perfect spot
Once you have your equipment, it’s time to go fishing! If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be fishing at and you do not have a guide or someone who knows the site, it’s advisable to get advice from people who work at a local fishing shop. They will have a wealth of knowledge about the best fishing spots.
A few things to pay attention to while choosing a fishing spot are the vegetation, water temperature, and structures like ledges or docks.
Things to keep in mind when fly fishing
If you are a beginning fly fisher, the most important thing to keep in mind to make the experience enjoyable is that you must be patient. You might not catch anything your first time, but if you allow yourself to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings, you will surely have a good time.
Once you allow yourself to commune with nature and fall into the soothing rhythm of the act of fly fishing itself, you will undoubtedly see this sport as an excellent pastime to reset and return to life refreshed and better equipped to handle what the world throws your way.
Fly Fishing: A Relaxing Pastime
Fly fishing is a beautiful way to escape the pressures of life and either get in some much-needed alone time or bond with friends and family while enjoying your surroundings.
Ensuring that you have the proper equipment, find the perfect spot, and remember to be patient and take in the beauty of nature, you will see why fly fishing has endured as an outdoor pastime.