View Full Version : Why I Fly Fish

Hugh Hartsell
10-07-2007, 10:23 AM
This is a very interesting thread and a soul provocking thought line.
I can personally remember how it began for me. I was a small child who grew up in the edge of the mountains with very many neighbors and friends who shared this love that goes with the sport. There was the mystique of the mountains and the lure of catching beautiful fish on a stream. I was around it, but not into it until I was ten years old. After my first trip, I was hooked for life. I followed flyfishing, and many other outdoor sports, all thru my adult life. Almost all of the others have fallen to the wayside, as time has passed, and flyfishing has stayed at the top as I have progressed thru the stages of life. Nothing has the physical and spiritual drawing that the lure of being in the mountains can have. Nothing completes this setting like being in a trout stream where you are at peace with yourself. As I have moved into the guiding stage of flyfishing, I feel like I have been "Walking the Dream" that so many feel calling them, when you know that you have found the ultimate form of relaxation and work that can be combined. I hope that each one of you that follow the sport, and have your own unique experience while doing it, will pass on to others the feelings of pleasure and contentment that you receive while spending time on the stream.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tenn.

Byron Begley
10-07-2007, 10:27 AM

Excellent! It is only fitting that you would be the first to post on this forum. You were the first person to post on the new Message Board two years ago. This new forum came to mind after our conversation yesterday.


10-07-2007, 02:06 PM
Hugh and Byron,
Excellent idea.

I've thought a lot about that question over the past year or so. My son and I took up fly fishing this year. I've been a fisherman since I was younger than he is now. But I've only been fly fishing for about a year. I mainly took it up as a way to spend more time with my son. In the time since we started the learning, I've been keeping a journal where I can share my feelings and thoughts on those times we fish together. At some point, when the time is right, I'm going to print it out and give it to him. I want him to know how much he means to me and how much I appreciate the time he allows me to spend with him.

Flyfishing is a slower paced sport and something about the rythmn of the casting and the flow of the water gives one the opportunity to reflect. I've not only learned a lot about my boy, I've learned a lot about myself.

So, here is the reason I fly fish:



10-07-2007, 08:11 PM
As I think back some odd 45 years ago, that is when I got my first flyrod, a Southbend. I think it was a 6 weight. Oh the pleasure I had with that old fiberglass rod! I was born and raised in Eastern, Ky., and still live near that small creek. I would wade fish and catch smallmouth bass on a popping bug.
I did this for several years. Then in the late 60's, I started bass fishing with spinning gear. Then in the 70's, the tournament craze hit. I did this for several years. It became more work than pleasure. I soon grew tired of that. I sold the boat and quit fishing until my son was in Johnson City, Tennessee, attending East Tennessee State University. I had fished all my life except for the two years, I was in the army.
While visiting my son in Johnson City, I stopped in Mahoney's Store. I spent sometime in the fly department. I had thoughts of fly fishing in years gone by. This sparked a new life and a renewing of an old love. And yes, I did buy a new Sage rod while there. My thoughts were fly fishing for trout. With all the experience bass fishing, I found out quickly that trout on a fly was different. I didn't catch a trout the first four or five trips, and the first one was just plain luck.
I started reading everything I could get my hands on about fly fishing for trout. My fly fishing started to improve. I have fished small mountain streams and different tail waters. One person on this board said, "I believe that God created Yellowstone just to sit back and look at it." I believe that is true. But all fly fisherman no matter where we fish for trout, think the mountains and tailwaters are beautiful. Someone once said, "I like trout just because of the real estate they live in."
At the age of 59, I still love it and enjoy God's handiwork. I thank Him for the abilities He has blessed me with, and this wonderful country that I am fortunate enough to have as my homeland.


Brian Griffing
10-08-2007, 09:14 AM
Great post and picture. I have 3 kids myself and another on the way, and I am looking forward to them being old enough to scramble along mountain streams with me.
My own reasons for fly fishing are not very different. I started fly fishing for the same reasons that I eat steak rare and I dislike Steve Spurrier: that's just the way my old man raised me. But I continued fishing for many of the reasons that Paul listed above. Trout don't live in ugly places.

10-08-2007, 04:16 PM
The desire to fly fish started about 13 years ago on my first trip to the Smoky Mountains. I had grew up with my great uncle and aunt who lived by means of the land. 4 days out of the week my great uncle would work the gardens and raise fishing bait to sell, then one day a week we would go fishing or hunting for a small treat at supper. I remember looking up to this man as if he were a Demigod. I would go through his tackle and dream of the day I could own such fine equipment. But there was always this one rod and small tackle box he had that would always get my attention. It was his fly rod and box. So I grew up believing there was some magic, some hierarchy or some unfound wisdom that came with this equipment. As I grew older and got married my wife and I came to the mountains and there my love began. One guided trip and a 6wt rod purchase led me to where I am today. Now I fly fish for saltwater and fresh along with dreaming of my next trip on the water. The art of fly fishing must be the only fishing to be allowed in GODS heavenly kingdom. Only its art, beauty and mystery can last for all of eternity.