I've been fly fishing since age 5 when my father began to teach me how to fly fish. I have not fished with anything other than fly tackle since age 10. I find other forms of angling to be wither boring or less challenging than fly fishing. It takes far more skill to cast a fly line well than to cast a spinning rod or casting rod.
There is beauty and grace in a well executed fly cast, whether with the single hand rod or the 2-hand rod, spey cast, roll cast, or overhead cast, all are wonderfull to see unrolling. The feel of the rod loading and unloading as a cast is made. The tying of a proper tapered leader, the skill involved in mending and fishing a fly properly. The literature of fly fishing and fly tying that spans centuries and connects me with the past, the present, and the future. It is the exchanging of ideas and ideals with others who fly fish. It has to do with the environs in which salmonids are found, although I greatly enjoy fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, northern pike, and shad with a fly rod.
There is the commeraderie found with fellow fishers of the fly. The feel of water against me legs, the morning chill, the afternoon summer heat, the birds, insects, and animals one encounters while fishing. The mountains, hills, trees, sky, clouds, rain, and snow. The sound of riffles, rapids, gentle runs, wind, jumping or feeding fish, and reels letting out line.
The bits of feathers, steel, tinsel, thread, floss, and fur that are flies (lures) are made of. the wonder of a child's face seeing a fly take form as it is tied. The genteelness of most fly fishers. The care for the resource and the natural environment which fly fishers generally have. The majority of those I have called friend over the years became so because of a common interest in fly fishing. All these friends and all other fly fishers from millionaires to attorneys to judges to mill workers to teachers to college professors to machinist to mechanics to businemen, all are equal when fly fishing, whether fishing the finest rods or cheapo rods. And they all shared a common interest in the history of the sport and reading and ideas.
When fishing, all the troubles of this life vanish for the short time I am astream. It allows me to get away from responsibilities and simply be myself. A day or a few hours fly fishing renews me and allows me to face the stresses or the job and life once again. Yes, it has provided so many very good memories throughout the 44 years I have been fly fishing that my life would be less rich without having fly fished or tied flies.