SOUTHERN TIER, NY-Like many outdoor pursuits,the sport of fly fishing becomes more intricate as experience is gained. Although all fishing requires a strong knowledge of the environment and it's cycles, fly fishing by it's very nature takes that knowledge to a more intimate level.
Especially this time of year, the quarry for many fishermen is trout on small streams. That means that the savvy angler needs to present a realistic bait, which is usually one of the many aquatic insects completing their life cycle and emerging as adults.
Rick Kustich is a seasoned fly fisherman,and has written several books on the subject." Basically what we're trying to target is, these insects live in the water, they mainly live on the bottom of theses streams, and at certain times of the year, certain species emerge to the surface , and that's when they're susceptible to trout. So understanding that emergence and when different insects emerge is the key."
Tying the flies combines a fascinating blend of art and biology. One needs almost to be an amateur entomologist as well as a skilled artisan to recreate the tiny life emerging on the water.
Many take their tying right to the streamside in an effort to be as accurate as possible,as Kustich explains." The idea of doing it along the shore you know, I guess , completes the entire cycle. If you have your tying stuff with you and you can see something that's on the water, pick it off the water and replicate that at your vise, that's the ultimate in what a fly fisherman can do."
But tying the fly is only half the battle. Casting is another story ! Acquiring that skill takes a lot of practice, and the neophyte angler should get that skill down before even hitting the water. But in the hands of a skilled angler, fly casting looks as graceful and fluid as the trout being pursued. " There's a certain art and poetry in the casting itself " says Kustich"It's fun to watch other people cast, it's also fun when you're making those casts yourself and watch them from that point of view. It's something that often I get so caught up in the fishing aspect of it that the catching becomes a bit of a by product of that."
According to Kustich,another " by product " of fly fishing is one less tangible, but equally important. " From a stress relief standpoint, you get out here and the biggest thing you've got to think about during the course of the day is whether you catch a fish or not, you're having a nice day."
Like any outdoor activity, the knowledge gained can provide the student with insight to life previously unseen." You feel like you're not only out in the outdoors, out along a piece of water, you seem like you become emerged in it."Kustich says" You're not only watching it, you really become a part of it.I think that's the one thing as a fly angler that I really feel that it allows me to do, just be part of nature for awhile."
Kustich has a great website full of information on the sort of fly fishing. www.rickkustich.com