Ask a fisher-person what the allure of fishing is, and the response will mostly include everything but fish. Yes, catching fish is fun, and as the saying goes “the tug is the drug” – which is what ultimately keeps us coming back. However, for even the best angler, the amount of time spent landing a fish vs everything else is comparatively minute.
Needless to say, I’ve caught the fly fishing bug as of late, and in effort to reconcile with this silly sport, have been speculating as to what makes the practice of tricking these pea-brained creatures so captivating. In my research on the subject, I’ve been turned on to professional fishing guide and eldest son of the legendary late Townes Van Zandt, JT Van Zandt. As the latter, I can only imagine the refuge that fishing and the outdoors provided throughout JT’s childhood and early adult life.
Perhaps due to it’s meditative quality, fly fishing inspires many a provoking narratives. As I’ve gone down this rabbit hole, and learned about JT’s story, two such pieces have surfaced that are worth a watch and listen regardless of whether you’ve ever spent any time out on a river untangling knots while cursing.
The first (video above) is from the Yeti Presents: My Old Man Series where Van Zandt recounts a bit about his struggle to find direction as the son of a prolific American songwriter and rambler, as well as his personal experience with fatherhood.
I think the most important thing for a father these days is to show that’s it’s possible to do what you love and be really good at it – and then come home with tenderness and affection for them, missing them and give them everything you’ve got when you get home, and start it all over the next day.
The second piece is from JT’s podcast, Drifting, and features an interview with Dan Rather. Lot’s of wisdom and optimism to be had here, so I’d highly recommend the listen.
Life is not a given… whatever you’re going to do, you better get up today and go do it.