The fly fishing writer, John Gierach, writes that all fly fishermen believe that fly fishing teaches us something important about life, but none of them know what it is. I’m a fly fisherman and I don’t know what it is either. Alan Mittleman, The Essence of Fly Fishing.
Well I’d like to give it a shot!
It’s the fauna, the flora, and the solitude.
It’s the constant learning; the attempt to perfect the imperfect able. There are no grounds crews, greens fees, or lift tickets. You don't have to assemble a team to fly fish. There are no modems, motors or phones. It’s the predator-prey relationship where to the predator it’s a game, to the prey it’s life and death. There is no rush, no schedule.
Is playing nature’s game, on nature’s terms.
It’s the people you meet, some nice, some not so nice
It’s a campsite along a babbling brook, the smell of bacon, the pungent smell of hickory smoke and the aroma of a pine forest.
It’s strong black coffee on a chilly morning and a campfire, a nip of scotch It’s watching a ground squirrel stealing your peanuts while you watch a “riser" in its feeding lie.
t’s birds singing, bees buzzing and loons crying.
It’s discovering beautiful places and being alone with nature.
It’s learning to enjoy your own company, a chance to reflect.
It’s problem solving.
In Spring Creeks and the Meaning of Life, I reflect on pleasant and not so pleasant experiences, share some observations along the river of life, provide some tips on living and fishing alone in North Americas wilder places, and learning how to be comfortable in your own skin."
While fishing and camping around North America I’m fulfilling a promise to myself to compile and share the treasury of learning, tips and experience acquired from over 20 years on the banks of the Little Lehigh and my collaborative friendships with many of the legends of fly fishing/tying.
My friend Gary Borger, who wrote the Introduction to my book called it “the intersect”….of the stream, legends and Rod’s shop, a unique community of fly fishers, and one that contributed strongly to the fishing history of the Little Lehigh.