Like the knowledge that you’re going to die

Field&Stream features here one of the best short text on fly fishing I’ve read online in a while. It’s from Bill Heavey, and it’s good.

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.

4 thoughts on “Like the knowledge that you’re going to die

    • “redneck philosophy” is like “bar counter psychology”, “second rate literature”, “postcard aesthetics”, “petit-bourgeois”, etc. (the list is very long): predicated of any statement, no matter how remotely connected to the relevant discipline, yields a judgement looking deep for free.
      glad you liked the post, though. :p

  1. my, my, aren’t you in one of those days?
    btw, show me any book that would be adequately described as “self-pitying redneck philosophy”, preferably from Texas, and I’ll rush to read it!! the very conjunction of the three terms is already hilarious.

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