When people ask me today "How did you get into fly fishing?" They're often caught off guard when I answer, "My girlfriend married my mentor." It's convoluted, but I assure you that's how it happened.
I was a little more volatile in those days than I am now, and after a period of self imposed misery a close friend suggested I find something to occupy my time and thoughts. So, while perusing the pages of a now defunct weekly publication called The Outdoor Press, I found myself drawn to a one inch ad for a fly tying class. I'd never even heard of fly tying but I had time to kill and the money.
In my lifetime I've never loved anything as much as I loved the next twelve Wednesday evenings learning how to tie flies. I loved it so much I took it again the following year. Which of course led to fly fishing.
Less than four years later I had a job at a local fly shop. Thirty five years later, fly fishing is my avocation and my occupation and I consider myself very blessed.
2020 may have been as bleak and as dark for you as anything you'll ever know.
Just keep showing up. The time will come when the lessons of these past few months will be crystal clear. You might not ever be truly grateful for the bleak colorless days of struggle, but there's a better than average chance you will appreciate the sunshine more than you ever dreamed possible.
Bleak and grey doesn't necessarily mean it lacks possibility.
Hope your New Year brings you endless opportunities to add some color to yours and someone else's picture.
- Jake Hood
Spokane River Guide