Curiosity Drives Brown Trout Fly Fishing
With fishing comes curiosity, which in my humble opinion, is a state of being we should strive to maintain.
“What’s around that next bend?”
“Where is the fish lying in this riffle, in this hole, in this run?”
“Are they eating the caddis or the yellow sally?”
“Why is that beast of a brown finning in such shallow water?”
And on and on and on it goes.
To me, this is one of the many draws of fly fishing. I get to wonder about the natural world. Most of the time, my focus is on the river and what lies below its surface, but I also relish pondering the brilliant flora and how and where it grows in relation to the water. Watching clouds roll over the landscape, casting shadows or foreboding a storm, enthralls my hippocampus.
More Than Survival
Perhaps it just harkens back to basic instinct. To survive, we required a deep knowing of our surroundings. We relied on our five senses to assess our atmosphere, gather and hunt for food, and find water, so of course, it is based on instinct.
But when fly angling, we typically aren’t trying to survive. This form of recreation is pretty mundane when it comes to outdoor adventures. But what putting all the puzzle pieces of fly fishing together requires at its base level is for observations about our surroundings and those of our quarry to come to life. It also requires focus, intense focus at times.
That big, finning brown trout demands all our attention. You run through your mental list as you stare down its spotted back. “What size fly do I have on and is it the right one? Where should I place my first cast to get the best drift? How far is my target drop zone? Was that a tailing loop because I was rushing to hook this beast? He just rose, right?”
Curiosity Paused, And Resumed
As its golden yellow nose crests the surface with its mouth agape enough to see its alabaster tongue, there are unlikely any curiosities bouncing around your head. Your mind is singularly focused as it has never been before. And for this, we anglers also flock to the river. All the curiosities cruising through our mind just before this moment come screeching to a fine point, and as soon as the brown rests comfortably in your net, they explode once again, expanding our awareness.
Fundamentally, fishing takes more curiosity than much else we do. The curiousness of what lives below the surface, how the trout (tarpon, carp, musky…) live, what they eat, and the zillion other investigations that go into this sport keep me coming back, keep me sharing this sport, and keep me focused on conservation and advocacy efforts to maintain the habitats that speak to me so profoundly. That allow me to survive and thrive.
For that, curiosity, I thank you.