I’ve always found, personally, that a balance must be obtained between intellect and practical. Working with concrete objects is just as important as abstract ideas and philosophy. Because both of them feed off of one another, I find it important to be aware of that balance. With that being said, I’ve decided to pursue my independent learning project in the area of fly fishing and fly tying.
I picked up the hobby of fly fishing a couple of years ago and it has been an ebb and flow relationship. For weeks at a time, for reasons unknown, I find the inspiration and the time to further expand my skill in the area. However, most of the time I don’t have the time or the patience to pursue areas of the sport that I would like to. I still consider myself an amateur in the event and I would like to change that. I think this project will afford me much needed separation from being completely locked inside my head with study. Whether it’s the relative simplicity of the sport, or the invisible variables that draw me, I’m not sure. But I think this project will help to clarify that distinction.
Many of my heroes are fisherman, and some of them are fly fisherman. The fly fishing and outdoor writers (Gierach, McManus, Harrison, Paulsen) have a certain grip on life that fascinates me. They seem to have a key that alludes people who aren’t outdoor tradesmen, specifically fly fishing tradesmen. While they may say it isn’t about the key so much as it is about a jovial day, their work still holds power for me. Pursuing a certain grace tying flies at a desk or catching and releasing browns on a little known stream, to me, is powerful. It’s a form of art that is black and while in many respects but with shades of gray. The elements of fly fishing that are completely inhuman can help me understand my place. A day on the stream can yield metaphorical elements that I couldn’t grip without the stream.
My biggest draw to fly fishing is two things. The work put in will usually result in things that are tangible, and it is only the tangible that defines that work; do this, do that, and let it fly. Second, if I try my best and the results are still short of expectation then it’s still okay. It’s okay because the drawing board is still there and I still love to do it.