On the Fly column: Many similarities between golf and fishing
The similarities and differences between golf and fly fishing are bandied about daily in fly shops and pro shops. In a former life, I was as avid as anyone could be about golf (and fishing), despite my woeful athletic ability. There came a point where I felt I had to choose, for my own sanity. More than anything, my pocket book made the decision for me. Your return on investment in time, money and energy goes much farther in fly fishing. You don’t have to practice every day for hours on end to become a fairly decent fly fisher, but keep in mind there are people who can cast a rod or drive the ball beautifully and can’t make the putt or get a drag-free drift with their flies. We cast for show but drift for dough.
Etiquette, advancements in technology, and you versus the course (river) certainly parallel each other. Surely a professional golfer would rather use the latest technology, but they could certainly spank the average person with their grandparent’s golf clubs. Hitting the ball straighter is just like casting more accurately, with the help of the best equipment available. Manners are also paramount in both sports, although not observed by all. Spooking someone’s rising trout is in the same vein as moving or talking while someone is attempting a crucial putt.
Call it a birdy when a fish eats your dry fly on your first cast. When you get refusals or snagged in a tree, that’s a double bogey. It’s too bad there isn’t a beer cart that comes by periodically on the river, but that’s asking a lot. Preparing to play a famous destination golf course provides the same anticipation as a bonefish or tarpon trip. Anyone can get the yips standing on the casting platform with a fish bearing down, or teeing up their ball surrounded by onlookers at Pebble Beach. Anticipation can be the sweetest sauce.
I truly believe that if you dedicate as much time tuning your fishing as most do their golf game, advancement comes much faster for the fly fisher. An angler can spend all day figuring out one pool or even one particular trout, versus having to hurry along with an impatient group behind you. You also can’t spend all of your time casting in the yard or on the putting green, you need to get out there and fish (play). If you have the time and means to devote enough time to both, more power to you. I’ll be the guy trying to figure out what the hell that fish is eating, not the one making the turn to the back nine.
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.