At times my addiction to fly tying will be so bad that I find myself tying on my lunch breaks at work. I’ve even jetted to a nearby stream on my lunch break just to get ten to fifteen minutes of fly fishing in, if I know that I won’t be able to go later that night. Since my wife is a teacher, I find myself trying to fish nearly every day before work in the summer. She is home so for three months out of the year I am off the hook for getting three kids ready in the mornings before work. Even this morning, after tying flies until one in the morning, I woke up early to get about an hour on one of my favorite Brookie streams, coincidentally I forgot the chores that my wife had asked me to do. I don’t mean to forget these things, it’s just my mind is so focused that it wants to go fishing or tying, that it blocks out other things that may prevent it from happening. Borderline “Rain Man” if you will. So I’m running on roughly four to five hours of sleep a night through out he summer. Crazy right? Can you relate to this state of mind, and dependence on the mind altering drug that is fly fishing?
The addiction can be so bad that sometimes I will find myself disregarding my own safety. I’ve fished in areas with decent populations of timber rattle snakes and copperheads. In essence, I am putting my life on the line to get that fix in. Those quick winter fishing trips are also quite dangerous with the threat of hypothermia should I fall in and be too far from my vehicle. Walking down steep banks, walking tightrope like log-jams to cross a stream, and all sorts of wild maneuvers to find fish, are all commonplace. Its almost as if injuring myself is not even a risk that needs to be considered. Now after I get my fishing in, I will say my mind calms itself and allows me to make rational decisions that focus on safety. Is any of this sounding familiar to you?
So why do it? Why subject ourselves to these conditions and safety hazards? Why tie flies on our lunch breaks instead of eating? Why risk hypothermia in the peak of winter? Why do we subject ourselves to little to no sleep everyday? What is there to gain from catching trout in these difficult, and offer dangerous conditions?