Fly fishing is more than a past-time, it offers the purveyor an opportunity to humble oneself in nature, pitting themselves against a quarry with a pea-sized brain, and often returning with little more than stories of the beautiful scenery. There have been days fishing where the magic of the moment has been indescribable, one in particular my wife described as “like walking in the garden of Eden”, (I’d add, “with a bad-ass fishing setup”). One of my favourite quotes, regarding this sport is gentle in it’s assessment of the spiritual nature of time spent working the fly.
“Fly-fishers are usually brain-workers in society. Along the banks of purling streams, beneath the shadows of umbrageous trees, or in the secluded nooks of charming lakes, they have ever been found, drinking deep of the invigorating forces of nature – giving rest and tone to over-taxed brains and wearied nerves – while gracefully wielding the supple rod, the invisible leader, and the fairy-like fly.”
~by James A. Hensall, MD, 1855~
One of my greatest fears in our recent move to the Lower Mainland from the Kootenays was the forced change of fishing habit. While in the Kootenays, a late summer’s evening could easily be whiled away on the banks of the Columbia River, watching trout rise to a well presented fly in the company of a good friend and his dog. The closest river access from our house was about a five minute drive, and many nights were spent casting just a few more times as the sun set and darkness surrounded us, tying tiny dry flies onto filament-thin, but industrial-strength leaders by the light of a lonely headlamp.
Doing a bit of research, I quickly discovered that although Langley itself is almost devoid of appropriate fishing holes, across the newly constructed Golden Ears Bridge in Maple Ridge, there are lakes and streams galore for me to “drink deep of the invigorating forces of nature”, and attempt trickery on trout on a regular basis.
I am pleased that fly fishing can continue to be part of my regular routine and not just a holiday activity.