Gone Fishing

Make the time to go wet a line.

FFSW John Frazier Redesign

FFSW John Frazier Redesign

I have my mother and father to thank for my obsession. When I was about 5 years old, under the tree on Christmas morning sat a closed-face Zebco fishing rod-and-reel combo. It wasn’t for my brother or my sister — it was for me — and I knew it without being told. While I didn’t ask for this present, to this day, it remains the single favorite and most important gift I’ve ever received. Unbeknownst to my parents, this inexpensive object pro- vided the soil in which the roots that define who I am were planted. I fished the hell out of that thing and got into all kinds of boyhood trouble because of it. Even though I knew full well that the wrath for being late for dinner in my child-

hood household was fierce, I never regreted any of the time I spent with that rod in my hands. I was too young to know any better, but this outfit was an escape from anything and everything I wanted and needed to get away from. It was the foundation of what I rely on to this day to make all things better.

If you live with regret, you have committed an injustice to your- self. Of course everyday life will throw you curveballs, and no mat- ter how hard you try to keep your eye on the ball, sometimes con- tact cannot be made. But through the years I’ve come to realize that, when the opportunity arises to fish, you should take it — no matter what the consequences might be. As busy as day-to-day life becomes, I can honestly say that I can’t think of a single fishing trip I’ve accepted that I regret. The only thing I have come to regret in my life, especially during my tenure as editor of this magazine, would be the trips that I let everyday life get in the way of.

For many fishermen, accomplishment and success depend on the number and/or size of fish brought boat-side. But for those of us devoted to fly-fishing, the scale of success hangs lower on the side of the experience as a whole. To us, a good day has to do with the people you share the boat with or the value you find in a good conversation over a beer with a real friend after the boat has been put on the trailer. So when you get the chance to go fly-fishing, just go. And when you do, soak in every detail of the day. Everything — from the fish you catch to the fish you lose, the shots you com- pletely screw the pooch on and the special moments you share with like-minded companions — because in the long run, these minute details are what ultimately matter. We choose to fish with fly tackle because we love and are obsessed by it. To us, there’s no finer way to catch a fish. And when the deck is stacked against you, remember you can always make a blind cast into a hopeless snarl and end up with something big and extremely rewarding pulling on the other end of your line. Good fishing to you all — I hope your next hookup is on a hook laden with feathers and fur.