There are many facets to our wonderful sport of flyfishing. Of course, the physical act of fishing is where most of our journeys begin but this year I have taken a more conservative approach. Not too long ago flyfishing was all I thought about, all I wanted to do with every spare minute of my time. Although now I see flyfishing through a whole new set of eyes.
I think in the past six to twelve months I have logged less hours on the river than ever before in my time as a fly fisherman. This is probably due to the fact that I have reconnected with a lot of other things I enjoy outside of fishing.
My new approach to flyfishing is concentrating on the story of a trip as a whole. There are so many exciting elements to planning a trip. Connecting with people you would otherwise have very little in common, learning about species, fisheries, feeding patterns and tides through reading (I’m obsessed with flyfishing books). Learning about fly patterns of the area/species you’re fishing for, tying your own flies with thought and if possible generous information from others. For me, all of these factors, with a heap of lead up anticipation, add up to a great trip that will stick with me for a very long time.
One such trip was last September when the stars aligned and I found myself over in Southern Texas with a new friend, Steven Charles. Steven and I met on a trip to New Caledonia with Fly Odyssey earlier in the year and he kindlyoffered to host me any time I was over in the States. Often, these kinds of short-term friendships are great, but inevitably you lose touch over time. I was determined to keep in contact with Steven and managed to sneak a number of days flyfishing for Redfish off the coast of Texas.
His generosity blew me away as we shared the next four days, swapping stories, tying flies, eating seafood, drinking the odd beer and hooking into a few spectacular fish. Flyfishing has an incredible power to connect us in ways I am yet to experience anywhere else.
In no other sport or industry have I met so many like-minded people and made so many lasting friendships. It’s amazing to see how strong the community across the world is. At a time like this, it is something I am truly grateful for.
As soon as this COVID-19 sucks a lemon, I’ll be on a plane back to the US and you better believe I’ll be calling Steven up.
Images: Alexandra Nielsen