Flyfishing is like the knowledge that you’re going to die. No matter how good the party gets, it’s always there in the background to remind you what awaits: tangled line, wind knots, snagged vegetation, broken leaders, and the very real possibility that by the time you do make a decent cast, your own eyeball will be attached to the hook. I have been flyfishing on and off for 35 years, during which period I have progressed from beginner to advanced beginner. With continued practice, I fully expect to be an intermediate just three or four years following my death.
And the converse is, as it sometimes happens in life, no less true. The words of John Buchan** ring all over the internet, to the effect that the charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. No quote gets viral like that without having at least the ring of truth to it. The astute reader will have noticed that this may not directly apply to fly fishing, but I think it does. It obviously does: for instance each time I throw a loop, I hope it won’t tail.
** Despite quite an intense search over the whole internet, I did not find the book where Buchan wrote this. If, by any chance, you know which book it is, please leave a message. The darn (Right Honourable) Scot wrote lots of books.