On the fly: The meaning of fishing | AspenTimes.com
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On the fly: The meaning of fishing

Kirk Webb
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The fishing throughout the valley has been pretty incredible lately.

The Rocky Mountain Regional Championship for Fly Fishing Team USA was held in Basalt last weekend. Huge numbers of fish were put up on the board and tallied – so much so that most anglers cannot even fathom catching fish at such a ferocious pace. It just goes to show that good anglers succeed in a wide variety of conditions, habitats and water types as anglers competed on the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers as well as on Ruedi Reservoir.

My girlfriend of the past six years and I recently separated and I’ve been in kind of in a fishing slump of sorts. I’ve been through difficult breakups before and none of them are ever easy, to say the least. Fishing is often like this, too. There are times when the fishing is slow and you simply must persevere if you want to succeed.



Lately I’ve been too busy putting my life back together to fish as much as I normally do. I desperately needed a day on the river to zone out and get back in the water where everything makes sense to me again. I tied on a brown and orange streamer through the sleet and wind, and made a nice, fluid cast into the depths. As luck would have it, my first cast yielded one of the prettiest brown trout that I’ve ever caught – a specimen that looked as though it came from New Zealand. I took this sign as an omen, admired the fish in my hand and gently let it slip out of my hand and back into the water.

My second cast produced yet another fish. For the first time in the past two weeks, I can honestly say that I felt normal again. It’s funny to me that something as simple as wading in a river and being outdoors can clear my head of the past and future so that all I can focus on is the present – catching trout.



There are many disciplines within fly fishing. Competitive angler Riley Cotter gave me a good line when he said, “I don’t care if you’re into Czech nymphing or tenkara fishing, all styles of fly fishing have merit and are helping to promote and drive our sport into the next generation.” I couldn’t agree more.

Fishing is much more than simply catching fish. The meaning of fishing and why we do it is different for everybody. Head out to the water and find out what fishing means to you.


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