Fly Fishing

Piscifun fly fishing reels


First Published in Harper's Magazine - April 1885

To the men of this country from the age of twenty-five and upward whose daily avocation calls for no physical effort, no boon can be greater than some form of out-of-door recreation, which, while it amuses and interests it's votaries to the very sunset of life, and brings them face to face with nature, at the same time only exacts a degree of muscular exertion which can be graduated with the greatest nicety to the most varied capacity or inclination.

Fly-fishing alone supplies this want. The wisest and best in England and in this country have united in it's praise for generations, each acknowledging the benefit and unalloyed happiness he has derived from it, and wondering why others were so slow to avail themselves of it's manifest physical and mental advantages.

The angler considers his pursuit as a fine art, of which merely to obtain fish is but small part. These he can get more cheaply and in greater abundance in the market. It is the way the thing is done - this and the open air, the odor of the woods and flowers, the laughter of the running water, the beauty and song of the birds, and that peace and content which opens the heart of man to see and love the ever-changing beauties of nature - these give to that pastime a charm possessed by no other. Though old age and infirmity come on, and the foot once familiar with wood and stream is now confined to the narrow limits of a chamber, when every other earthly pursuit has lost it's zest, who ever heard that even then the enthusiasm of the angler had diminished, or that the dim eye had failed to kindle at the recollection and tale of earlier triumphs with the rod?

To the weary brain-worker within whom nature clamors for occasional respite from the toil of life, we earnestly recommend this recreation, assuring him that for every week spent fly-rod in hand, he will add a year to his chance for life. It will prove a joy in youth, a boon in middle age, and a solace to his declining years. Not only may it's benefits be had by the water-side, but when the blast of the winter's storm confines him to the hearthstone he will find, in an examination of his tackle and in the thoughts and recollections it suggests, a source of happiness and recreation - a hobby tainted with no ignoble thought or regret.

Unhappy is that man who has no hobby!

Other sports have a debit as well as a credit side in the account which must be rendered for this life. This, and this alone, may be and should be quite free from stain.

To such as feel the necessity of some relaxation, and who are encouraged to seek it in fly-fishing, a word of advice as to the selection and use of the more important appliances of the art may not be amiss.

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