At our last family gathering in Denver, Colorado, I had opportunity to talk to my Aunt Rhonda about her passion for fly fishing. I knew that she has been involved in the sport for years, but never had the chance to find out why. I just had to share what she told me.
She acknowledges that people fly fish for a great number of different reasons, and each person has a unique perspective. Some are driven by wanting to catch the “big one” and to record the moment photographically. Others are challenged by matching wits with more leery brook trout in a small mountain stream. For many, simply being outdoors in beautiful surroundings is the key. Often many components are in play at the same time, with everything coming together perfectly to provide an ideal experience.
With a reflective glint in her eyes, Aunt Rhonda went on to relate some of the more personal reasons for her fly fishing passion. It is certainly much more than catching a fish! Wading into a Colorado glistening mountain stream or standing on the banks of babbling brook, she finds that she can become one with her surroundings, becoming part of a bigger landscape. Worries and blues fade away, and day to day troubles become smaller and often even forgotten.
Aunt Rhonda flows into the rhythm of a cast and watching the fly as it drifts over the water. The feel of the water as it swirls against waders and the sound of gurgling water as it passes by demands an ultimate awareness of current surroundings and of the present. With a somewhat apologetic look on her face, Aunt Rhonda admitted that the whole experience was soothing to her soul and healing in times of stress.
Of course, she went on, this is not the case with all fly fishing ventures. Weather, bad luck, and crowded conditions sometimes interfere. On the other hand, expeditions with close friends are competitive opportunities for treasured camaraderie and memories. Aunt Rhonda enjoys every trip, regardless of specifics, as fly fishing is her passion and an important part of her life.
I am trying to persuade my aunt to return so I can introduce her to some of my guiding friends at the Denver Minturn Anglers fly shop. They can certainly direct us to live waters, and I can’t wait to spend a relaxing fly fishing afternoon with her on Denver waters.