Fly fishing is a romantic sport. Lets face it. Hollywood likes to show this with sweeping mountain vistas, leather and woven creels…his hand rests over her wrist, gently guiding her through her first cast…
There is some truth to these images. I am often asked what its like to be an avid fly fisherman in Colorado, who also just happens to be female and single.
First, a tongue and cheek look at some fly fisherman types I have dated:
He has never fly fished before, but he is already in steep competition with me the moment we step into the stream. This can be fun, if he is lighthearted, but a few take this too far.
I give him a yahoo and a thumbs up as he holds his fish up for me to see, hollering at 30 yards.
This distracts my focus on a sweet hole filled with nice sized trout. Nonetheless, I do a happy dance for him in my waders, cause frankly, I am not quite sure what else he wants me to do. And this is supposed to be a date.
Now my trout are gone, scattered to safety. Dang it.
THE “AAAAND THEN—HE’S DONE” GUY
He has never fly fished before. I give him a few tips. Rig is rod. And boom, he immediately gets into a fantastic beast of a trout. I am flabbergasted and thrilled with happiness for him!
We look over his huge catch, caught in a tiny stream. He smiles at its beauty, says its the biggest fish he has ever caught. I think, “He must be thrilled!”
Then, he breaks out a book in the shade. He’s done.
I guess not everyone catches the fly fishing bug, but why are some of them so lucky?
He has all the latest fly fishing equipment, knows a lot of people who fly fish, and is a great listener. Yet somehow, some way, there are scheduling issues and distractions, and we never seem to get to the water. He suggests we stay in again today. I look at his gear more closely. Its right out of the box.
I think, these have never been used; But if I stick around, I am about to be.
He apologizes for being late, for losing my fly(s), and for not being a very good fisherman. He apologizes that he needs a little help with this and that…From 30 yards I see his shoulders slump cause, dang it, such and such just happened again. He apologizes for hooking me in the face, apologizes for freaking out when he saw the blood, apologizes for….
Oh good GRIEF!
All of his fly boxes look like they were created by a hand surgeon. In fact, he actually has hand surgeon friends, and they are equally impressed. His truck is spotless, yet he fishes the backcountry all the time. All of equipment is custom. He sent back the ones that weren’t perfect.
I suspect I will be sent back when he sees the dog hair, clumps of tippet and twisted weights, and a two day old Mc Donalds bag (or has in been three days?) in the back of my truck.
THE INCURABLE LAKE FISHERMAN
Every time he sees me, before even saying hello, I get a lake report.
“Antero is ON!”
I have told him a dozen times I am not much of a lake fisherman. But I like his enthusiasm and his respect for my knowledge of fly fishing. He wants to learn how to fly fish. He buys his own equipment. I offer to teach him. I pride myself in the nymphing lesson I give him. I catch a fish while I demonstrate. All is good. Then, as soon as I turn my back for just a moment, out comes that old, ratty size 8 hare’s ear, and for the rest of the afternoon the river is covered in loops and loops of lime green floating line.
I make sure I fish up for the rest of the day.
THE STREAM MADMAN
He doesn’t just cast—he beats the water, grits his teeth, fights against the current with a biting posture, curses, obsesses, and accuses the guy parked next to him of scratching his side mirror.
I want to hide, change my name, and hope the universe reverses gravity in his space, expelling him from the planet.
THE “I AM IN FROM MONTANA JUST FOR THE WEEKEND” GUY
Gorgeous, rugged. Forward. Fun. And easy.
And I’ve learned, not worth tying on a fresh leader for, if you get my drift.
So what does make a great fly fishing date, for a male or female fly fisherman? Does the Hollywood image really happen?
Recently I invited a writer friend to fly fish with me. He was delighted and made the time work. He had no experience in fly fishing—And this didn’t matter to him. He was open minded and appreciative. He listened to my instruction as I kept things simple. He false hooked one and then it was gone. He didn’t care. He admitted he is not one for patience with a sport like fly fishing, but had a lot of questions for me.
I was a little bummed about the false hook. To cheer me up, he did an imitation of the grab and grin picture that everyone thinks they must get when they catch a fish. I giggled cause he had it nailed. I guess getting that picture wasn’t all that important after all.
I think I may have helped him with his cast, hands may have touched. I am not sure, we were having so much fun, I didn’t notice.
Afterward, he told all of his friends what a great time he had.
Funny thing how its just that simple.