I recently went fly fishing on the Salmon River in Pulaski, N.Y., to try and land the Chinook, Coho and Steelhead making their annual fall run up the river. Fishing is perceived by those who don’t do it as a form of mindless relaxation. But it’s just the opposite--it requires complete and utter immersion. It’s therapeutic because you can’t think of anything else--your personal finances, that loose gutter over the porch, EHR implementation timelines--or you’re coming up empty-handed (or empty-netted, as it were). But immersion is valuable beyond a river--it’s equally satisfying to do it on an everyday basis, and we simply don’t do enough of it.
Fly fishing at its heart is cast, drift, lift, repeat. But you also have to throw in a few thoughts to changes in water flow and temperature, fly patterns, the position of the sun, the length of your leader, your knots, the strategy behind your casts so you’re covering every inch of the boil of water you’re fishing, where your shadow falls on the water, where the dangerous current is when you’re moving, along with focusing on doing the exact same casting motion every one of the thousands of times you repeat it.
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