It’s funny. Ever since I started fly fishing… it’s never just been some hobby that I like to do on the weekend when the weather is good and the fish are rising.
It’ something I have stamped in my head whether I’m trying to get some sleep for 6 a.m. practice or dozing off in class. Sure, plenty of times it’s of the fish that escaped my Butt Monkey streamer the day before, but that’s beside the point.
I’m far from a purist, but even after a couple of years of fly fishing it’s hard for me to put a spinning rod back in my hand. Something about the word fly that I can’t seem to shake it. As many of you know it, some people will truly never understand it. Do I love throwing big streamers with little odds of catching lots of fish? Yes. Do I love tossing size 20 Royal Wulffs to small natives that “don’t have any size”? Yes. I’ve learned to pick and choose what I love, while not ridiculing other’s styles.
However, for me, it’s much more than just catching. Fly fishing offers so much more than what you thought when you first started. I love the comradery and good times on the water. Some of the best laughs come from your friend falling in freezing water above his chest waiters while the other’s swearing about losing a fly he just tied last night. A good net man is always key. Personally, having a friend get tight on a great fish is almost as good as you putting one in the net.
I love being on the water period. It doesn’t matter if it’s some shit creek that’s rumored to not have any fish at all or the beautiful Blue River in Colorado. Being on the water gives you that feeling. To some, that feeling may be where you lose yourself and for others it’s how you really find yourself. To get away from reality, but I think to most of us it’s one of the most real things in our lives. No stress needed. The peaceful settings are the reasons some of my favorite places are what they are. There may only be a couple small fish, but I have a special place in my heart for those spots.
I love being able to go through the process of tying a fly, selecting the right one, presenting a nearly perfect cast, just to be able to have the chance to hook a fish. But it doesn’t matter…Fly fishing has already got me hooked.
I was extremely pumped when I got text from my paps saying he wanted to take a trip out to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado this summer when I had some time off from wrestling. I started to fill my fly boxes while my dad was doing the research. The trip didn’t start off the greatest considering a couple broken rods thanks to TSA, but we kept our spirits high. Driving through the center Rockies just left me in awe. In fact, I still think about them everyday. It’s one of my fondest father son moments. From mousing a brown at nightfall, to Dad landing the biggest trout of his life, to seeing monster Mule deer, and Antelope fighting in the distant as we took the long hike back. You could say this trip never had a dull moment. Some days we went solo, others we had a guide or did a float. I did my best to toss streamers, but it’s so tempting when you can see fishing crushing bugs of the surface. There was no better way to end the day than crushing an elk burger and a local barley pop.
So, fly fishing community, get out there! Knock some different species off the list. See what this world has to offer. I’ve never talked to a person who regretted putting that project off till tomorrow to get on the water today.
By Alex Smythe