REEL TALES is about six decades of casting flies, losing fish, spending time with great friends and listening to their stories. There are no tips on hot spots to fish, secret flies or equipment to buy. Just good fun.
All of the books needed to describe the fine art of fly fishing have already been written. If you are looking for instructions on how to cast, where to cast and when to cast put this down now. If you want to know the difference between a Royal Wulff and a Pheasant Tail please read Trout magazine or an old edition of Matching the Hatch. This is not so much a tale about fishing as it is about what happened in between the casts.
When I caught my first fish, a sunfish, I was as surprised as the creature that had been attracted to the worm on the other end of the line. I suppose I kept on fishing because of the mystery: when would the next one bite? Then, it became a sport where my skills were being pitted against something that I could not see. This was different from catching a football or shagging a hit to right field. In both cases I could see my opponent as well as what was coming at me.
As I learned more about fishing with a fly, I continued to enjoy the mystery, the sport and the challenge of guessing which of the dozens of flies in my box would attract the trout. I also found that the best fishing came when I was alone. This was not only because no one could observe my mistakes but also because they were not there to disturb the tranquility. Now, I mostly enjoy that tranquility, but even more my memories of every one of those six decades since holding my first Union Hardware rod.