There is much to say about the spiritual nature of fly fishing. To myself, I see the spiritual side of me shining through. The animals, fish and nature are all in harmony. Makes you wonder why we love these things. It’s because their energy is in harmony and that is what our soul seeks. The soul of mankind has immense love for us and we are to come to this understanding and acceptance of our own magnificence. They are balanced, centered and always living in the moment. We, as humans, are not as in harmony as we would like. It is the desire of the soul of man to reach this harmony and we achieve this through our spiritual growth, of remembering who we are as spiritual beings.
We, as fly anglers, have a love of nature and we feel the driving force to be one with it. “Why is that?” we ask ourselves. It is the desire of the soul to be harmonious with all that is. It is the connection of all and the recognition of the truth that we are all one. Everything is energy – the plants, trees, water, fish, the animals……us. We are connected as one. There is no greater power than to be in harmony with oneself.
Fly fishing requires patience. It is a constant test to us as we enter the water. We must carefully and methodically tie our fly onto our line or we may miss the big fish because our knot wasn’t strong . We must take each stride in the water with good footing or we could easily slip into a hole or stumble over a rock. We must be mindful of our back cast in order to not get hung up in the trees. We must be careful of our forward cast as to present the fly without spooking the fish.
I am reminded of a quote by St. Augustine. He said, “For what is faith, unless it is to believe in what you do not see.” We cast our flies into the unknown depths of the water. We seek for that of which we do not see, yet we have the faith that it is there, but what does it take? It takes patience and faith and allowing ourselves to reach out of our comfort zone. Either casting to another area or by trying another fly to see if we can connect to the ever present fish lurking in the depths of the water which represents our soul.
I am reminded of another famous quote, by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He said, “When we dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It is to enjoy each step along the way.” So as a fly angler, we need to remind ourselves it’s not necessarily about catching the fish, it’s more about the whole experience of being one with nature, being one with our creator and letting go of our busy lives, if only for a few hours, to be one with the water and seek for that of which we do not see and try to find that harmony that our soul seeks.