Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Angler's Soul in Winter

In reading the many angling magazines I receive every month or so it has come to my attention that I may be missing out on something big-- fly fishing in the winter.  Now, I've never considered myself simply a fair-weather fisherman, but the volume of articles I've encountered this winter lead me to wonder if I've somehow missed out on something grand?

It has become almost cliche' that winter is the time for fly tying as rods hang on the wall awaiting spring to reawaken trout and anglers alike.  By sitting at the vice in winter we pay homage to those who've come before us.  The activity is as much a connection to the past as a bridge to the future, which is only a spring thaw away.  However, rather than tie flies I write.

Writing, for me, provides a connection to sport and nature that tying does for so many anglers. Our winter activities aren't just a mental haven to dream about fish lost and those yet to be caught, they're subtle reminders of cycles of the soul.

An angler's soul is in tune with the rhythms of nature; the natural turning of the seasons, spring runoff and the spawning of cutthroat trout that follow, the life-cycle of the many aquatic insects our tying strives so hard to imitate.  But there is something else there, something that is nurtured by the our winters away from the water.

For me, its embracing the harshness of  a Wyoming winter and its cold splendor because I don't fish in the snow.  My angler soul is fed in no small part by the anticipation of the next spring as I write about the last summer's fishing trips and my daughter's first fish.  In many ways it's the same way I always endured the misery of winter field exercises in the Army as the relief that would come with walking into a warm tent at the end of it all was sweetened in a way only those who have suffered can appreciate.

Writing and fly tying nurture an angler's winter soul by subtlety reminding us of the cycles of nature and our connection to the past and the future, connections that if not tended properly, threaten to flicker their last.

Tend the fire until next time.
Cheers & Tight Lines,
Brad

email- conservationflyfisher@gmail.com
Twitter- @ConserveTrout

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