“You must not use this aforesaid artful sport for covetousness, merely for increasing or saving your money, but mainly for your enjoyment and to procure the health of your body and, more especially, your soul. For when you intend to go to your amusements in fishing, you will not want very many persons with you, who might hinder you in your pastime. And then you can serve God devoutly by earnestly saying your customary prayers. And in so doing, you will eschew and avoid many vices, such as idleness, which is the principal cause inciting a man to other vices, as is right well known. … Also you should busy yourself to nourish the game in everything that you can, and to destroy all such things as are devourers of it.” source
I know, a touchy subject for many. “Oh God, don’t talk about that.”
Nothing shows how enamored, addicted or committed one is to fly fishing than being cut off from it because of life’s travails. Sooner or later some form of important distraction, duty, emerges that decidedly pulls you from, turns you from the sport. The rod is removed. It isn’t even in view.
Health (your’s/other’s), (plug in here what you consider to be a significant enough demand to put down the rod). I can’t think of many commitments that would seriously deny me my ‘religious’ fix in the elements. Yet, for me, the last few years have been crushingly demanding because of family health issues.
The nagging, crawly feeling of withdrawal from the rod, the fly, the water has a profound grating effect upon the brain, the gut. I don’t like the feeling and there is no other distraction for the supreme distraction. I was talking to someone the other night about the demands of hospice care giving ( the second in two years), of the extended vigil, of life on hold, personal poor health. I said I was over loaded and did not have the energy to do the most healing of actions…go wet a line.
The discussion evolved into the critical juncture of what does it mean to mean to fly fish…why the obsession, the edginess when denied? Because it is more than just escaping life, escaping commitments. Fly fishing, for me, is putting myself into a place, a mindset, where on many occasions you can make a commitment to self, to family and loved ones, to a higher purpose. I have never been one for the pew, the walls, the man standing between me and that cross on the wall behind him. If there is to be a connection on some level, for some solace, than let it be knee deep in a stream, rod in hand, mind open to all about and then maybe we can see something that puts us at peace.
See now, that wasn’t so awkward was it? It connects within you on some level….call it what you will…