A MATTER OF OBSERVATION
Most of today’s fishermen, at least those in my region, go to the river with enormous eagerness. Fishing is the only thing that matters and above all not coming back empty, that is, you have to avoid the bolus at all costs, so they don’t rest for a second throwing their nymphs here and there until they get some catches. It seems that the only thing that matters is to catch some trout regardless of any additional observation that would perhaps be more profitable than trying not to reach the car without having caught a good catch.
Years ago I met a dry fly fisherman who spends many hours observing the river, the water and the fish. He looks at them, observes them, studies them and then thinks about everything reaching an objective conclusion.
He goes fishing with the new lesson learned in the river itself and with the new knowledge acquired, knowing what the fish do, how and what they feed on, where and when they do it. All this is not easy or simple. You have to make a great effort and not get carried away by the desire to fish at any price.
Walking along the river observing what is happening, moving from one side of the big well to the other to try to see what is happening on the other side of the huge body of water, seeing some fish perched next to the big rock and waiting patiently for move or simply perform any movement in the hole or out of it requires more than patience. He requires passion for fishing. In my opinion, this is the true passion and the reason for being a fisherman: to be able to draw one lesson after another and draw a conclusion from everything that happens in the river and its constant changes. Not everything is based on having a beautiful imitation and a good fishing line. Not even being a good fly rod caster. Nor do you have a wide library that covers the most disparate and unsuspected topics of fly fishing. You have to be able to observe, to penetrate the waters of the river and be able to know in depth the reason for the changes, whether they are in the surface baits, the riverbed itself, the availability of food, the quantity and variety of invertebrates, the affectation of flow variations, the natural reconditioning of the channel and a very long etc.
All these complex things require knowledge and acquiring it is not going to be easy, we are going to have to dedicate many days, many hours and a great deal of effort to achieve it.
This fisherman he was talking about earlier does it and his catches are consistent with his observations. I do the same too. I spend a lot of time observing the river, its changes, the behavior of the fish and what they feed on. Then I think about how the flow variations and the continuous changes in the river substrate itself affect them, why this or that. Everything and so many things escape us that can be discovered in the next observations and meditations. This is also fishing and above all passion for fishing.
The passion for fishing is not only catching fish, these will come in addition, the passion for fishing also lies in knowledge and that to know you have to learn and understand. This is hard work that most do not like, perhaps because they have not realized how beautiful it is to discover the reason for anything worth its salt. It is like learning and understanding fly casting, it requires effort and dedication and this is not fashionable.
In a world where what is easy and immediate is sought, it is even easier to make mistakes without realizing it, simply because not enough attention is paid to the details because these can force us to spend too much time and effort on them.
The result is that, unlike other fishermen, this friend knows where and how to get a superb piece or simply a place where the fish feed on the surface non-stop for a few hours, something that the layman will find only or remotely by chance without knowing anything about it. it, for this reason it will bypass you and you will lose it.
Fly fishing for some has become something mechanical like throwing and retrieving the artificial one in the water with the hope that at some point a fish bites. Current times are changing very fast and require us to make a greater effort. The miraculous catches have vanished except for a few cases. Fly fishing requires a lot of passion and work to constantly improve and everything that comes with effort and dedication is and tastes much better.
This year we got some amazing pieces in terribly fishy places because we spend countless hours observing and understanding what happens in and out of the water. We also found out where we could do good dry fly fishing and why the largest specimens had ceased to be seen in the river as if they had disappeared. We improve the imitations and presentations of our artificial ones and above all we reach the river with our illusion. We improve the imitations and the presentations of our artificial ones and above all we arrive at the river with our renewed enthusiasm and with even more passion.
Going to the river with the illusion of acquiring new knowledge together with the passion for fly fishing, more than catching some fish is that of never returning empty.