When I tell people that my husband takes me fly fishing, I usually get faced with disbelief from men and pitying side-glances from women. Some go so far as to say ‘Oh, you poor thing’ while nodding knowingly and sympathetically.
When I protest and explain that I love to fly fish – that it started out as his hobby but has become mine too – they nod even more and give me the ‘wink wink nudge nudge don’t worry I know you are only doing it to keep him happy’ look.
It’s then that I have to pull out my favorite photo (conveniently saved on my cell phone) of my fish and me. A beautiful Atlantic salmon caught in Scotland on one of the fly-fishing trips Husband dragged me on. (Please note the sarcastic use of ‘dragged’)
So lets just get this straight – I love to fly fish and I want to go fishing!
The season is upon us for catching still water trout in the Western Cape, and I cannot WAIT for our first weekend away.
But it’s not only the catch-and-release that I love so much, it’s not only the thrill of glorious sessions out on the water, wondering what beauty I will or won’t catch next, the exhilarating tug of possibilities on the fly line, surrounded by mountains and crisp fruit tree blossom – there is so much more to it than that.
Here are my top 5 things I love about fishing besides fishing:
1. Road trips
Usually when we go fishing, we have to travel a little way to get there. Road trips are full of great pad-kos, awesome radio, my very own DJ skills while hubby drives and fun conversation. Discussions that tend to begin with work, issues at home and daily bla-bla-bla, often shift once we lose radio signal to other, way more interesting things. You just can’t have a 45 min sing along with your significant other anywhere other than in a car and not be horribly embarrassed and/or admitted to a psyche ward. It’s pure magic, and one of the best ways to spend a Friday afternoon, if you ask me.
2. Weekends away
Do I even need to explain this one? Going away, staying in remote bungalows in the middle of the mountains with nothing but a sky full of stars to look at at night? Yes please! Not to mention the romantic nature of open fireplaces, tiny beds and zero cell phone reception – a weekend fishing is the most romantic get away there is!
3. Fresh air
Maybe it’s just me, but living a fast paced city life has a way of making me feel suffocated at times. Even though I love it, I need to get away from it all once in a while to be able to breathe, and what better way to do that than with my favorite human being in the whole world? A walk to the Woolies on the corner together in town with its car fumes, drain covers and overflowing dumpsters just doesn’t have the same charm as a walk, hand in hand, to the edge of the water in the dusk, surrounded by croaking frogs hidden in the reeds, and the air sweet with pine.
4. Braais and the Fires of Truth
Standing around a braai having a drink (or three) while the meat sizzles is a birth right for most South Africans. We love it! But daily life doesn’t always allow for too many leisurely braai’s in a row, and usually involves big groups of friends or family getting together. While Master Chef ignites my weekday aspirations, I love a good old, fuss free, eat when it’s done and not a moment sooner kind of dinner arrangement for two. We make a point of braaing on our fishing weekends, rain or shine, and we let the fire burn big and bright late into the night, enticing the most in-depth one-on-ones a marriage could possibly handle. It’s at these ‘fires of truth’ with my husband that I feel like we are dating for the first time all over again, diving into each other’s minds and swimming around, revelling.
5. The Pink Hunter Boots
Yes, it’s about the clothes. I love that I get to dress up like a stuffy Downton Abbey countess in her tweeds and wellingtons, and still be looked at by my husband as though I am the most beautiful woman in the world. And the fact that my wellies are pink makes it all the more enjoyable for me.
So to answer those questions and ease any suspicions - yes, fly fishing is definitely one of my favorite pastimes, no it’s not just because he loves it, and hell yea I am super excited for our next up-coming trip!
Love, lust and fairy-star-dust,