Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Perspectives on Beginning to Fly-Fish: Essential #1 - Understanding Limitations

Understanding limitations is a very important essential in fly-fishing and life in general.   The most common limitations to a fly-fisherman are gear limitations, time limitations, and location limitations.

Today I will talk about:

Intro to Gear Limitations:  What matters?

Limitations on gear can be very discouraging. The biggest, the best, and the newest gear is expensive and often inaccessible to the average beginners skills and pocketbook.  Therefore, I have learned to find value  in fly-fisherman that can cast any rod and line skillfully enough to catch fish on whatever body of water they are presented with.  However, the secret that most people do not talk about is that catching a fish often has more to do with the size of your tippet than the size of your rod, the distance of your cast, or the money you spent on all of the above!

Fun Suggestion for Beginners:  No matter what your gear you have access to, go out and spend one hour in a wide open park and just cast for fun.  Listen and observe. Pay attention to your body movements and the effect on the rod and line.  If you walk away after an hour and know even one type of movement that tangles your line, consider it a victory!

Fun Suggestion for "Experts":  Just in case you haven't done this in a long time, go and find the most inexpensive, and overall worst rod you can find - the more cracks, dead-spots, missing snake guides, etc... the better.  Put on whatever line weight you wish, or maybe just a piece of rope, and cast it for an hour.  The results are fantastic. I enjoy doing this every once and a while to keep myself humble, keep gear in perspective, and to gain a more intimate feel for the art of fly-fishing.

Just like in music, it is not the instrument that plays the music. It is the soul that an artist can bring out of any instrument that makes the music what it is.

'till next time...


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thomas Aquinas Daly - Timeless Visions, and Fly-Fishing Secrets

"Run To The Sea"  By Thomas Aquinas Daly
If you are a fly-fisherman, hunter, or lover of the outdoors, it is well worth your time to research the work of artist Thomas Aquinas Daly.  But if you are a fly-fisherman in Western New York, Southern Ontario, or the Northeastern US, Thomas Aquinas Daly's "The Painting Season" is a must-have.

Daly's work has a distinct intimacy and dream-like atmosphere that demonstrates his passion for fly-fishing. He also provides anecdotes that highlight his deep knowledge of each stream he portrays.  Any outdoor photographer or painter will be captivated by the path that he has set out for future generations.

For more info, or to purchase his work visit his website at:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Intro to Perspectives on Beginning To Fly Fish

Photo by Adam Kryder with a Rollei 35s
It does not take a small fortune to begin fly-fishing.

Call me old school, but it is not the gear that makes the fisherman, but the fisherman that brings life to the gear.

Becoming a fly-fisherman that knows how to bring the beauty out of any gear - no matter what the conditions - is a desirable feat.  Knowing our limitations and learning how to excel within them is the greatest reward.

In the spirit of being an eternal student of fly-fishing who is constantly adapting to the shape-shifting face of Mother Nature, I am happy to introduce The Stream Life Journal Original Series:  Perspectives on Beginning to Fly-Fish.

The purpose of this ongoing series is to demystify gear buying, and promote down-to-earth knowledge to make fly-fishing accessible to everyone. From boots to tippet, and rods to eye-wear, I will address every aspect of fly-fishing that continues to surprise and humble me each day on and off-the-stream.

In my next post from the Perspectives on Beginning to Fly Fish Series, I will begin with some thoughts on limitations and how they continue to drive us to excel.

I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Angling is where the child,  if not the infant, gets to go on living." 
                                  - Thomas McGuane

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Poem To Begin

Autumn Sunset in Dalian, China 2009
I believe that Poetry and Fly-Fishing are often intertwined. So, I begin this blog with a poem that is very relevant to me and hopefully my readers as well.  Here is one for the road.  I hope you enjoy...

"A Traveler's Night"

A traveler's sleep never arrives,
yet the autumnal sky refuses to dawn.
I roll up the curtain and see a shadow of leftover moon,
stack my pillows high and listen to the far off river.
I'm at my wit's end for clothes and food.
At road's end my life depends on friends.
My old wife has brushed many letters to me
and knows the emotion of this unreturned traveler.

-Written By Du Fu (712-770)
source: "The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry"
edited by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
ISBN: 0-385-72198-6