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24-7, 365: A Fly Fisherman's Thoughts on Winter, Water, and Life.

March 12, 2009

-Like most fishermen, the late winter weather has me down. Just when spring began to peak around the corner, the March wind blew it’s ass right back to April. Instead of dripping water, icicles now hang from all the gutters around the house. The driveway looks like a skating rink, and the dog refuses to go outside. As I sit contently at my fly tying vice filling my box for the upcoming spring, I can’t help but grimace every time I look out the window. My favorite rivers have frozen over once again, a sure sign that winter is not ready to depart just yet.

Ice=No Fly Fishing=Boooo

I haven’t always been this critical of winter, far from it. My high school years were spent skiing every chance I could get. While fly fishing was still a budding flower in those days, skiing to me was much more important. I would spend the spring, summer, and fall trying to figure out just how I could magically make winter appear. I was obsessed with dreams of skiing vacations, new gear, and fresh powder. Don’t get me wrong, skiing is still a huge part of my life, but much has changed. Looking back, I see many parallels between my obsession with fly fishing and what I had with skiing. The countless magazines I would read over and over, the endless stream of cash spent of gear, and the time spent actually partaking in each activity all have great similarities. Whats changed is the level of obsession.

In My Element

Instead of simply looking at fly fishing websites like I did with skiing, I’ve created Up’North Maine Fly Castings to fill an obvious void during the off season. This allows me to write about the “sport” I love, get myself more involved with it’s inner workings, and also interact with fellow fly junkies. Fly fishing has also spawned another recent hobby of mine, Fly Tying. This provides me with another way to keep myself constantly immersed in fly fishing even through the dead of winter. I love the hackles and hurls and hooks and my cheap starter vice that never seems to hold my creations tight enough. I love unpacking and repacking my vest just because I enjoy looking at my vast accumulation of useless tools and other gear. And most importantly, I love spending my money on a hobby I took up to save money in the first place. But what I love the most is knowing that far beyond the years when skiing is no longer humanly possible for me, fly fishing will still have a huge place in my life. The long term picture I have of casting a fly is so vividly clear that It makes me long for retirement before I’ve even started my career. The many mediums that will undoubtedly make up my picturesque life in fly fishing are in my mind worth much more than any degree or fancy Italian suite. I’ll gladly trade dress pants for my lucky waders, or an expensive gold chain for my loaded fishing lanyard. You can keep that corporate office in Times Square, I’m content with my spot on the river bank in Aroostook County.

Wake me when the snow Melts,

-Ben
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2009 3:02 pm

    hahaha it’s not mine to trade. I wish (it was mine, I would never trade it, sorry). I’m lucky to have a friend that’s willing to take me there every year. Back in the day guides worked out of it, the thing is historic.

  2. March 12, 2009 2:47 pm

    I’ll trade you my office down here for that cabin in the photo

  3. March 12, 2009 2:41 pm

    You certainly have a way with words. Great post/site. You better keep tying while you still can, Spring is right around the corner!

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