by C.M. Steele
A mildly sarcastic piece on the titular subject.
| I once read a poem describing the beauty and elegance of a fly fisherman. Something about "the ease and grace with which the caster unrolled his line" must have truly captured the poet. Which, if one puts it into context, doesn't make a lot of sense. A writer, walking a stream--one can speculate that he or she was seeking inspiration--finds beauty in the motions of a man splashing though frigid, fast flowing water, whilst waving a slender graphite pole in the air. One must not forget this man's purpose, of course: to fool a fish into eating a minute bit of feather, hair, and hook which is supposed to closely imitate an insect. Well, one may ask, does he at least keep the fish, take it home to eat?
Of course not! That would too closely match the behavior of a sane man.
Instead, after a several-minute fight, during which the fish nearly dies of exhaustion, 9 times out of 10 the, poor, touched fellow will let it go! Some of the crazier people will even murmur a tender farewell as the fish kicks off! What kind of obsessed madman would it take to find "beauty" and "elegance" in that?
I'd bet anything that the poet picked up a rod the next day and fell in love.