In today’s tech oriented society where we’re surrounded by hobbies based on sitting behind a screen, as anyone reading this article is engaging in right now comical enough, there is a need for more organic, more active hobbies to partake in for the betterment of our health and well-being. With the bombardment of tech toys and devices being marketed towards us, and the means of accessing the internet, a series or program becoming much easier, many of us are feeling the need to break away from this force fed lifestyle and wanting to connect back to the root of nature.
Many of us grew up with nature as our playground, and were introduced to fishing at an early age so it became in grained with those individuals that a fishing, camping, or other nature activities would always be a mean of escapism from the reality that has been presented to us through marketing and education. That escape from the office or the city, the mass exodus you see on the roads during the summer of people rushing to their northern or rural playgrounds for the weekend. On the other side of things, the majority of the younger generation has not had the privilege of experiencing that “Nature” connection as they’ve been entrenched in this tech age from birth, and with such farces to the great experience of camping like “tech camps” being presented to parents as the new summer escape. Yet as they grow into their “millennial” states, more younger individuals today are wanting to take up activities that bring them closer to nature.
Fly fishing is a sport where you can really get that connection to nature while having as minimal an impact to the environment. When one thinks of fly fishing vision of trekking through a meandering stream with a fly pole and a pair of waders come to mind. Few other sports seem so serene and secluded when you try and think of a mental picture and it’s one of the major attractions to fly fishing and why it continues to climb in popularity. As opposed to more traditional forms of fishing, fly fishing seems more akin to art form which also makes It attractive to a modern crowd.
To be a true fly fisher and fully embrace the sport means to become a student of nature. Learning to read the stream, the habits of the fish during different times of the day, and the infamous phrase “match the hatch”! You’ll start to flip rocks over, looking at what the fish could potentially be feeding on, looking at the insects out at various time of the year or even of the day. Mastering the workings of the streams and patterns of the fishes prey can make that big difference towards becoming an astute fly fisher. Many fly fishers embrace this part of fly fishing, learning to match what the fish are feeding on any given hour with what flies they have in their arsenal, and quickly one can learn what flies to carry with them at what times of year rather than carrying everything you got, greatly lightening the amount of tools you’ll need to bring out with you.
Today where caring for the environment and nature as well as animal welfare seems to be a growing issue, fly fishing has a huge advantage where the artificial lures used are predominantly single hooked and barbless. This insures that minimal damage is caused to the fish and possibly 90% or more of the sport is “catch and released” based. As fly fishermen we want the solitude of knowing that fish populations will continue to grow for the next season and for future generations alike. It’s a Rite of passage of sorts that is shared by the majority of fly fishing community and is the essence of why the sport continues to grow and is attractive to new generations.