I am thankful for fly fishing.
I am thankful for being able to go off the marked trail and into wild places. These are places that I would enjoy to see on their own, but would struggle to justify visiting otherwise. Quiet meadows and intense valleys; places that only see the occasional footprints from anglers or intrepid hikers.
I am thankful for early morning drives. Even before I’m in close proximity to the stream, I’m content with what I’m doing. There are breakfasts on the run, misty sunrises, and empty highways. And that first cup of coffee doesn’t have to be good – it just has to be hot.
I am thankful for gear. Although accumulation and striving for things is not important, there is real joy in this aspect of fly fishing. The feel of a brand new cork grip or one that has been used for generations. The sound of a reel as I’m slowly reeling it in or the sound it makes as a fish tears line into the backing. Vests and packs with a place for every necessary little thing… and everything that is in those places.
I am thankful for writing. The opportunity to share my passion for fly fishing – the quarry and the culture – has been a creative outlet that has been so much fun. Expressing the things that I think are worthwhile and then having people read and enjoy them has been a true privilege.
I am thankful for fish. Trout, bass, bluegill – you name it. I think they are entertaining to watch, exhilarating to catch, and even somewhat enjoyable to be spurned by. Their beauty, grace, and power are unique in the natural world. Furthermore, these creatures were created in such a way so that they captivate us to pursue them and to protect them.
I am thankful for the people. Having a common interest creates fishing buddies, industry acquaintances, and random social media contacts. In actuality, these relationships can be much more significant than the angling itself. They both enrich and transcend the time on the water. The thoughtfulness associated with fly fishing can facilitate the introspection and transparency that real relationships are built upon.
I am thankful for the blessings of fly fishing.
Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing. Psalm 107:22