Fly Fishing has an amazing way of bringing people together. We’re so lucky to be part of a community filled with interesting, kind and fun loving people! Often, a trip out on the water is more than just a quest for fish. It’s a time to catch up with friends and meet strangers, share stories, tips, flies and maybe even a cold beer at the end of the day. Many of the most significant relationships in our lives started on the river, in a fly shop, or with the simple statement, “let’s go fishing sometime!”
But, it’s Valentine’s Day! So it’s time to talk about what it’s like to be in a relationship with a die hard angler –or even a fishing guide! We’ll tell you that loving an angler is the best thing you can do because, well, we’re the most fun, best looking, incredible bunch around! However, we do have some tendencies that are hard to understand, and might be frustrating at times. Whether you fish or not, if you’re in a relationship with an avid angler (and especially a fishing guide), keep these things in mind.
First, you’ll have to try to understand why we like it so much. And yes, it may take some time. We admit that it may seem silly, but there is quite possibly nothing better in this world or beyond than spending some time on the water and catching fish on a fly rod. It’s just so fun! If you can’t understand why, get out there with your significant other and see what it’s all about. You might be surprised by how much you like it. If you don’t, you might need to reevaluate whether or not you are capable of joy! Everyone is different, and you’ve got to accept that we anglers can’t live without fishing. As an added bonus, if we’re ever being a real pain, just tell us to go fishing! You’ll get some alone time while we’re out there and we’ll probably come back with a much more agreeable attitude. Sometimes we get cranky when we haven’t fished in too long. It’s the same as when you’re in a bad mood when you’re hungry — but different.
Secondly, we’re going to make decisions that might not make a lot of sense at first glance. For example, we do things like wake up ridiculously early to drive somewhere that we don’t like to share a lot of information about and is dubiously far away. For what, you might ask? Well that’s a bit of a hard question to answer. Another hard question to answer is why we can get out of bed to go fishing but can’t show up on time for dinner reservations, social engagements, work, and may forget that it’s your mom’s birthday.
BUT, if you knew what was (potentially) waiting out there for us, you’d do it too. It’s basically a no brainer. I mean we’re talking about the possibility of a fish of a lifetime–best morning of your life–call your mom–good fishing EVERY TIME. But how can that be…? We usually come back and say we didn’t catch anything, at which point you may wonder why the heck we even went in the first place! Well, first of all it’s always beautiful, and secondly, we’re still talking about the potential fish of a lifetime–best day of your life–call your mom–good fishing EVERY TIME…… maybe.
You’re also going to have to be ok with your partner spending their hard earned money on (seemingly) unnecessary fishing gear. Yes, we know it’s strange because we hate shopping for pretty much every other thing on the planet, but you can’t beat the feeling of stepping into a fly shop. It feels like Christmas morning every time, and gets us all warm and fuzzy! If at all possible, don’t refer to gear as “unnecessary” because, well, nothing is really necessary or unnecessary if you really think about it. But don’t think about it too much and just let them buy the stuff that makes them happy. You love your angler, don’t you?
On the topic of gear, you’re also going to have to adapt a complex vocabulary of fishing jargon to describe the aforementioned fishing gear that they (may or may not) need in order to not offend your beloved partner. They’ll say something like,
“I’m so excited to buy this 6 weight Centric and put an Amplitude MPX on it, that set up is gonna turn over dropper rigs so well and absolutely slay. I can’t wait!!”
Then you’ll say something like, “are you about to spend another $900 dollars on a fishing pole?”
To which they’ll say, “it has a lifetime warranty so it’s basically a good investment if you think about it. And they are called rods darling. It’s a fly rod, not a fishing pole.”
To which you’ll say “is there really a difference???” and so on…
Then you’ll have a grumpy angler on your hands that will probably need to blow off some steam by hitting the river for the evening hatch.
Lastly, you are probably going to see a lot of fish pictures. Why? Because we just love them and we’re proud of our success. We know fish pictures are a hot topic in the dating world because, let’s be honest, half of the dating profiles you’ll see have a fish picture in them. Automatic left swipe? Not so fast, you might want to reconsider.
All jokes aside, the dedication that anglers have to the sport is one of the things that makes us special. It’s not often that you find a group of people so in love with chasing those rare moments of awe, joy and peace that can be hard to find elsewhere. Fishing teaches us patience, humility, and gives us the ability to appreciate the small things and have a good time no matter what! Those are some pretty wonderful attributes to have in a partner, and we promise we’ll do our best to carry them with us off of the water. I know this sounds like an awful lot of self-gratification, but we anglers can be stubborn and hard to deal with. We’re a strange, ridiculous and sometimes frustrating bunch. But if you already love one of us then you know it’s worth it. If you don’t, get out there and land the catch of a lifetime this Valentine’s Day. You (probably) won’t regret it!
Written by Cian McGillicuddy, Photos by Anna Stonehouse