Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content On the fly: Universal fishing language has healing power

By Jon Kleis - Special to The Gazette Updated: April 22, 2013 at 12:00 am

I always have said that the world would be a better place if everybody dropped what they were doing and went fishing — even if we all just fished for an hour before heading back to our daily grind.

Spending time on the water keeps us grounded and humble during a time when it’s easy to forget how small we truly are. Fishing is therapeutic because your focus is squarely on your next cast, your presentation and detecting the strike. You’re not thinking about all of life’s challenges and turmoil.

Trout live in beautiful places. This is one of the reasons why programs such as Project Healing Waters are so successful. Volunteers in the fly-fishing industry take wounded soldiers out for free and show them a good time on the river. What greater way to heal the soul than that? Political preference, race and gender are of no consequence as fishing of any kind is a universal language that we all speak.

I can say from personal experience that it keeps families closer during a digital age when everyone is consumed by technology. In no way am I knocking the Internet because, ironically, it’s a great method for anglers to stay in touch and learn techniques. What I am doing is challenging all of you to take somebody fishing no matter what kind of angling you prefer.

Try to take someone who is going through a hard time, and watch their demeanor change for the better. I also challenge you to take a few days and spend more time on the water. In doing so, you will be happier while building on the already great tradition of angling we have in the Pikes Peak region. There is no greater way to create memories than being in nature.

Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of the readers for the positive feedback on the “On The Fly” column. Since The Gazette has allowed me this opportunity, I have felt very fortunate to get to share with you some fishing knowledge and perspective. There are some big things in store, including tips on carp fishing with a fly rod, stillwater fishing for trout and using the hopper dropper rig, so stay tuned!

Kleis is a Colorado Springs native and professional fly-fishing guide for Angler’s Covey Fly Shop. Read his columns the third Thursday of each month. Schedule your fly-fishing trip at jonkleisflyfishing@yahoo.com.

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