Last week I learned to fly fish on Hermosa Creek in southwest Colorado and the experience has me thinking about the lessons of fly fishing that also apply to the spiritual life. Here is some of what I’ve learned. I’ll let you make your own inferences.
Lines get tangled.
Patience often provides enough space and focus to untangle them.
But sometimes an intervention is needed.
The best results are often found in deep water.
It’s fun to catch. It can be even more fun to release.
If you snap the line too hard, it costs you $2.85.
The lure is no good if it’s too big for the trout to eat.
Fish and fishermen have to face upstream.
Great equipment is nice to have, but if you don’t know how to use it or you overreach, great equipment won’t do you any good at all.
Keep your old, beat-up flies in your hat to remember where you’ve been.
Don’t waste time in empty water.
Sometimes you have to get on your knees.
Other times you have to climb mountains.
Be prepared to wade in the water.
Fish with someone you love. You will spend some time on your own — otherwise your lines will get tangled up with one another, or one of you will fish and the other one will watch. But it’s always more rewarding to share the journey.