Apparently ‘rhythms’ is the the longest word in the English language that doesn’t contain a vowel. Sitting in a close second would have to be ‘nymphs’.
This is one example of how flyfishing has this strange effect on you where you start to notice and experience flyfishing-related things. It might be a dead possum on the side of the road, a magpie that has come to steal your lunch or a crazy lady in Lincraft who wants to go halvsies in a roll of faux fur. Or it could be that you’re having a beer at the pub in the middle of winter and a fly buzzes past. You might be enjoying a rump steak and a march fly bites you on the ankle. In February! All of these things have immense significance to a fly fisher. And recognition of this significance means one thing to me…I’m addicted to fly fishing.
Apparently the first step of overcoming addiction is admitting you have a problem, but surely the admission of the addiction to this fly fishing caper is a healthy one? I get to spend time in nature, be creative, pursue friendships, become more ecologically literate, catch fish, get some much needed exercise….the list goes on and on. But is it worth it? Sitting around, doing the whole ‘life’ thing, it’s easy to get disillusioned with the fact I have to try to make some sort of valuable contribution to society: maintain a job, pay taxes, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
But then there’s fly fishing. A subtle, mysterious pull towards streams, rivers and lakes with fish in them. A so-called meditative art. A pursuit written about in volumes by the scholarly. A complex myriad of obsession, skill, confidence, practice, persistence.
Why should I sacrifice my opportunities to cast a minute imitation of a caddis fly at a healthy brown trout so that I can continue to make this so called ‘contribution’? Surely, the pursuit, practice and frequent realisation of such a passion would outweigh the danger of the cynicism and resentment I’d develop towards society and my general responsibilities should I not be able to indulge?
In saying this, I guess it’s about finding some sort of balance. Is this so called balance a compromise or even a trade-off? Of course. But it’s one I’m willing to make. I’m happy to work and do the whole ‘life’ thing if I can pursue things I’m interested in. No point getting stroppy over the 4pm deadline for the Minister’s office, that dinner date, that special birthday or other such minor inconveniences when the light at the end of the tunnel offers so many enriching and wholesome rewards. The minister can wait! Especially if it’s a Friday arvo and the weekend lies ahead…they’d understand. Surely. If they didn’t, I’d be happy to call them up and sing, with all the soul the world:
Gone fishin’, there’s a sign upon his door
Gone fishin’, he ain’t workin’ anymore
There’s his hoe out in the sun where he left a row half done
He said “hoein’ ain’t no fun”, he ain’t got no ambition
Gone fishin’ by a shady wady pool
I’m wishin’ I could be that kinda fool
I’d say no more work for mine on my door I’d hang a sign
Gone fishin’ Instead of just a wishin’
Gone fishin’. . .see him snoozin’ by a brook
Gone fishin’. . .didn’t even bait his hook
There’s his hound dog by his side fleas are bitin’ at his hide
He won’t scratch ’em he’s to tired he ain’t got no ambition
Gone fishin’. . .learnin’ fishin’ worms to swim
I’m wishin. . .he wuz me and I wuz him
Wish I had a plane to fly here’s what I’d write in the sky
Gone’ fishin’. . .instead of jest awishin’
Gone fishin’. . . he don’t worry ’bout no wars
Gone fishin’. . .left his wife to do the chores
Cows need milkin’ in the barn but he jest don’t give a darn
See his fishin’ pole is gone he’s on a secret mission
Gone fishin’. . .out where peace has never died
I’m wishin’. . .all the world was by his side
Then our guns we’d throw away grab a fishin’ pole and say…