When asked what fly fishing means to me, I am often at a loss for words. I love to fly fish because I love the water, and I love the water because it is free, it is true, and it is honest.
To be blunt, the water never lies to me. And because of that I can trust what it tells me. See when most people look at the water, all they see is a reflection. They only see what is on the surface. But when I watch the calm surface of a bass lake at sunrise, I see the things the mirror tries so desperately to hide. For me the surface reveals the treasures hidden beneath. I can see the drop offs, the weed lines, and the rocky points.
When I glance at a mountain stream as the water caresses over each rock and cuts into each shoreline, it gives away its most prized possessions. It is in this moment that I am most calm, most myself. I trust what the water tells me is there, waiting beneath the ripples on the surface. So as long as I do my part, as long as I judge the wind right and strip out enough line, my fly will land quietly on the surface of that pool, that eddy, or that weed line.
And I will have my reward.
So when people ask me why I love fly fishing, I think about the water. I think of all the lessons it has taught me over the past 25 years. And I know never to judge life by what you see on the surface. But most importantly I remember to always be free, always be true, and always be honest.