We all have no doubt that, in spite of lack of written evidence, the first artificial fly was created to replace the living impaled insect used to attract fish: brutal casts or fish’s skill left the hook baitless and the angler had to find a solution to avoid spending his time trying to capture too many of those small animals. Flyfishing improved since those ancient days and what was considered a mere method for food, turned into a sort of philosophy: now the flyangler is considered as a “wise” angler fishing more for his soul than for his stomach.Today, most of us fish for enjoyment and decide to release their quarry because are aware of the fact that our waters are running the risk to turn into empty environments.
(Fly)fishing is wrongly considered as a sport but there are reasons to remove this ancient meaning. When we talk about sport, we give the idea of two or more people “fighting” against each other for a medal or a cup. When we talk about fishing, the fight is not against another anglers but against a helpless creature using all its primordial instinct to survive. That’s the main reason why we cannot consider fishing as a sport.
In the past days, flyfishing passed through a strong debate having its origins from Halford’s and Skues’ points of view. This debate has not been concluded yet. On the contrary, it became sourer and sourer due to the ideas that streamers and poppers and heavy nymphs cannot be considered components of “true” flyfishing.
The debate will continue for decades and there is not a final or right conclusion. Flyfishing as we feel it is a sort of philosophy based on the respect of the quarry and traditions. The use of heavy flies or specific high-tech tackle does not affect the deep contents of this ancient “art” given that it is practiced with the full respect of nature and others’ points of view.