Fly Fishing

By March 6, 2014Adventure

Fly Fishing is one of those activities that is good for the body and good for the soul. Last October, the Riverside Rangers took a short trip to Blackwell Forest preserve in Winfield to experience a lesson in fly fishing. It was a perfect autumn day. Our plaids were on, our rods were ready, and the water beckoned.

Fly fishing is one of those activities that helps us slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature. Boys need these moments of calm, when they are connected with their natural surroundings and sense the world around them as a living thing. Too often when we are running around we forget that we are quite small creatures in the whole grand scheme of the cosmos. Not to diminish the dignity of the human person, who stands above all creation as a creature endowed with intellect and will–“in apprehension how like a god, the paragon of animals”–but the dust upon which we walk grounds us and helps live life at God’s pace. Reconnecting with nature is an antidote to the spirit of restlessness we often find invading our hearts and homes.

Fly fishing is also a great way for fathers and sons to bond as well. Our Ranger trip was a father son activity. There was a naturalness to the ebb and flow of the afternoon. The fathers chatting, the sons playing, and then the time to learn together. It reminded me a bit of a Suzuki music camp I once witnessed, where the parents spent time learning the music alongside their son or daughter. The children saw their parents struggle and overcome. The parents saw their child in a new light, working side by side on the same task. These are moments when parenting becomes more lucid–when through common endeavor father and son enjoy work, play, and life.

Fly fishing is physically engaging. The back and forth motion gets the blood moving and yet calms the mind with its focus. The occasional snap of the line reminds one to be patient and let the line out.

Only one boy caught a fish that day, but it was worth it.  I recommend fly fishing as a great activity for fathers and sons.

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