About The Fly Fisherman’s Guide to the Meaning of Life
The fly fisherman is a unique breed of sportsman–he loves the sparkle of sunlight dancing off a trout stream, the surreal beauty of a mayfly hatch on a spring day, and the heart-thumping eruption of a surface strike by a large trout. Here Peter Kaminsky writes about the angler’s passion and his pursuit of knowledge. He explains how long days without fish can teach you how to deal with failure and how releasing a caught fish can remind us about ethics. He offers inspiration to those who love the sport as much as he does.
On Riding Things Out When things are great, anglers are known to enter a kind of fishing rapture. But once in this state, the minute things slow down they want to race off to the next spot. This is the piscatorial presumption that the fishing is always better on the other side of the lake. It isn’t– and more times than not if you leave fish to find fish you will find nothing. When the going is good, stay with it.
On The Nature Of Success You fail more than you succeed. One cast out of ten, or twenty, or a hundred may produce a strike at the other end of the line…. And then, when a fish does take the fly, you must set the hook, fight it well, and not let it break your leader with its leaps and runs and dives under a rock or branch. All in all, the odds are against you big time. Still, the pursuit excites.
On Home Turf Home is where you feel safe when your children go fishing. Home is where you know when it is unsafe. Home is where every one of your friends has a fish tale about a place you know. Home is where no one cuts you slack about your own embroidered fishing yarns…. Home is anywhere, then, where the quality of the experience, if only for a moment, makes you feel “I have always been here.”
On Getting Older The key to enjoyment at fifty-five is the same as the key to enjoyment at fifteen: Do whatever you can do as well as you can, then try to do a little more– but don’t try to rewrite the record books. You probably can’t, and it’s not important anyway.
On Teaching And Learning This would not be the frist time in the course of our week that my daughter would outfish me. As she caught big fish and learned to play them, her confidence increased and her casting improved, thanks in no small part to her guide…. I was happy that she had finally moved into the class of real fly fisherpeople.
Peter Kaminsky wrote Underground Gourmet for New York magazine for four years, and his Outdoors column appeared in The New York Times for twenty years. He is a longtime contributor to Food & Wine and the former managing editor of National Lampoon. His books include Pig Perfect: Encounters with… More about Peter Kaminsky