From what I could gauge I needed another three feet on my cast, so I greedily flung the fly line behind me one more time and ended up wrapping the heavy steelhead rig around the dead limbs of a blown down spruce.
Fly fishing seemed an unnecessary waste of time to the teenage version of myself. The neighbor kid would wave an obscenely long rod over his head, flinging line all over the place – including tree branches. What’s the point of that? Of course at some point in life you will be pitted against yourself, and thus have the opportunity to confront your own words or perceptions.
A few years after I shifted from Klawock to California, I heard of some spots in the mountains with pretty brook trout and thought the best way to catch them was with a fly rod. I bought one.
I held the fly line in my hand and started to understand the principles of casting. You don’t cast the fly itself, because it weighs a fraction of an ounce. You’re casting the line. But before you even get to that, you have to tie neat little knots which attach the backing to the reel, the fly line to the backing, then the leader to the fly line. It took me over an hour to get the knots to look right, but I managed to get the $65 starter kit rigged.
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