What is the best part about fly fishing? Is it the pursuit of big trout in beautiful places? The seclusion of being on a stretch of river all by yourself with only your thoughts to entertain or calm you? But let’s not forget about the feeling of a big fish on the end of your line after a perfectly presented cast. I enjoy all of these, and many more, but my answer varies greatly from that of most. Mine is about the friendships you continue to grow and the opportunity to make new ones along your fly fishing journey.
I have so many great memories from the most random road trips with my best of friends and often only remember a fish or two of what we catch all weekend. For me it is about the stories, the laughs, the smiles, the jokes, the impromptu lunches, the random river stranger conversations, and shared beverages to make new friends and memories for the next one. I am blessed to be able to have learned from and fish with a really great friend as well as make some awesome buddies along the way.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to the sport from a great friend and baseball buddy from high school who I fish with the most to this day. We made the usual progression from nymphing and trying to catch every fish in the river, to throwing streamers trying to catch the biggest fish in the river. I have been handed a huge amount of knowledge from a “Streamer School Graduate” Sage. I met his older brother Cole, who ties the best streamers I have fished, from another teammate in college. I am now lucky enough to fish with their dad Bruce and pass on information that they have taught me to my family and friends. I am sure everyone has similar stories, and mine has led to some unforgettable weekend trips on the drift boat with people that treat me like family. From pitching our tent next to the dumpsters in bear country in Montana as youngsters, to staying in nice lodges in Idaho floating the South Fork and the Henry’s, I always feel like a true friend when fishing with the Thorpes.
I look forward to making many new friends along the way and fishing everywhere and anywhere with my fishing buddies I have now and hope you all feel the same!
Please share or tag your fishing friends in the comments with a short story, we would love to hear them.