9 Things That Will Never Change About Fly Fishing

Els Van Woert (right) and Orvis’s Jackie Jordan discuss the future of fly fishing in A Kinetic Loop.
Els Van Woert (right) and Orvis’s Jackie Jordan discuss the future of fly fishing in A Kinetic Loop.

Last week I came across a Facebook post announcing the Fly Fishing Film Tour’s (F3T) upcoming stop in Anchorage. The F3T is in its 11th year and I can’t help but think back to all the great films we’ve seen over the years. My favorite film in the long history of The F3T is A Kinetic Loop: A Celebration of Fly Fishing’s Past and Present by Sharptail Media.

The F3T describes the 2014 film as “an attempt to look at the innovators of today, the pioneers of yesterday, and similarities and differences that have defined the evolution of the sportover its lifetime.” 

While the film focuses on the differences between today’s fly fishing culture and that of 50 years ago, my favorite part of the film is when the interviewees describe what will never change about the sport we love — what Orvis’s Tom Rosenbauer labels “the eternal things.”

  1. “You know, the anglers, the equipment, the boats, the method – there’s a lot different than what it used to be. But the way it affects you when those fish come in and you see those fish, and you take your shot and get a bite and they jump, that will never change.” ~Dave Mangum
  2. “Well, the eternal things are obviously the tug, catching a fish, having a fish on the line, fooling that fish. The stalk, you know, the stalk is eternal. The immersion in nature is eternal. “ ~Tom Rosenbauer
  3. “It’s just seeing that fish eat that fly. That’s the coolest part, I think. And I think that’s what’s gonna get people jazzed – you know, it did 50 years ago, it will 50 years from now. Just seeing that fish eat that fly. It’s the coolest thing.” ~Pete Kutzer
  4. “I think the things that will always be true for fly fishing – it’s totally cliché, but ‘the tug is the drug,’ The adrenaline rush.” ~Chrissy Penn
  5. “The tackle, you know? The goodies! The toys! People got just as excited about new toys 30 or 40 years ago and they do today. It’s part of the enjoyment of fly fishing.” ~Tom Rosenbauer
  6. “The challenge is eternal. You know, we’re an organism that loves to learn. We thrive on learning. And the challenge is always there, I mean we’re taking a stupid piece of fuzz, or plastic and trying to make it look like a live bug or a minnow, and it’s just nuts, what we’re doing, It’s crazy when you think about it. Trying to fool a fish that has incredible eyesight with something that we’re making with some feathers or synthetics.” ~Tom Rosenbauer
  7. “You know, what attracts people to fly fishing 50 years ago, compared to today, it’s a lot of the same thing: the environment is beautiful. Basically, fish don’t live in ugly places.” ~Truel Meyers
  8. “It is being in nature and being able to shed everything else and just totally be in the moment. “ Chrissy Penn
  9. The main thing that will never change is that the fish is an incredible, amazing animal.” ~Truel Meyers

In today’s fast changing world, do you agree that there are some things about fly fishing that will never change? Share why (or why not) in the comments!

A Kinetic Loop (trailer) from Sharptail Media on Vimeo.


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