I never bothered to learn what fly fishing was, because, frankly, it never came up. I don’t know anyone who specifically does it and talks about it, and it hasn’t come up in newspapers or literature. So, as far as I was concerned, fly fishing was the snarky way of saying you swallowed a fly because your mouth was open. Or something.

On Friday, I had the pleasure of learning a bit about the sport from Kris and Daren (of Foundant, the greatest grants management tool ever*). The goal is to catch fish using a flexible rod with attached line that has a really gross looking fake fly on the end. Wikipedia actually sums up the way to cast quite nicely:

The type of cast used when fishing varies according to the conditions. The most common cast is the forward cast, where the angler whisks the fly into the air, back over the shoulder until the line is nearly straight, then forward, using primarily the forearm. The objective of this motion is to “load” (bend) the rod tip with stored energy, then transmit that energy to the line, resulting in the fly line (and the attached fly) being cast for an appreciable distance. However, just bending the rod and releasing it to jerk the fly line forward (like a bowstring or a catapult) will not propel the fly line and fly very far. More important is the movement of the rod through an arc acting as a lever, magnifying the hand movement of the caster (of about a foot) to an arc at the rod tip of several feet. 

I had a tough time with the bringing it back part. I think even though I knew I had to stop and bring that momentum forward, I kept bringing the rod too far back (like I was serving in tennis), which made for a less swift motion. Plus, I kept turning to watch it, which is probably fine as a beginner, but also most certainly interrupts the rhythm. I would also get so excited if it looked good that I wouldn’t keep it going. When Daren and Kris were casting the line, the motion and rod were basically silent, which is what you want; let’s just say mine was noisy. (surprise!) You can click on the photos to learn a wee bit more, and below is the evidence of all these things, and probably more:

If nothing else, it was really fun to try something so different and be taught by folks who are really passionate about it. I’m going to look forward to trying it again (maybe by water?) the next time I’m in Montana**.

*There will be a future work-week post about this; stay tuned and message me if you have any questions about the product!

**Driver to the airport told me there are direct flights out of Newark now. It was a beautiful place with the nicest of people; I’m not ruling it out for a long weekend!

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