Moments - VINICIUS

These exceptional moments can be the heart and soul of this activity. Diverse and unique, anglers look for them and enjoy them in their own way. We will take a glimpse of only some of those moments, as it is the search for them that makes fly-fishing so appealing.

“Mosqueros” as we are called, are not only interested in fishing but also in enjoying the natural environment. In this setting we can practice what we love to do, where nature is in full swing and it opens the way to a world full of enriching experiences. Many times tricking the fish and catching it becomes second place.

Puerto Lussich

If we want to fully enjoy this activity it is necessary to protect the environment, as fly fishing largely depends on it. Future anglers should have the same opportunities as we have today. This responsibility is shared between anglers and the authorities that should implement better regulations and rules to be observed by everybody during the course of the year. The main objective is to respect the natural environment so that the “moments” in fly fishing can still be magical.

Human relations are a true gift and at that point, camaraderie, friendship, and companionship become the main trait, allowing anglers to enjoy a practice where competing has no place. Therefore, grandfathers, fathers, friends and guides can pass down their knowledge and experiences so that the next generations will continue the search for their own moments.

A basic philosophy

Very little has been written about the moments in this practice but many have managed to set them down in images, like Diego Ortiz Mujica in his book Fly Fishing Moments, where not only the fish is the main actor but also the angler and the surrounding setting. In his book in black and white he values this recreative activity and he reflects the friendly atmosphere prevailing in fly fishing. This Argentine “mosquero” and photographer chose Mel Krieger, who recently passed away, as the main exponent of fly fishing in Argentina, even though he was a foreigner. And he was right, Mel picked our country as his second home and he offered his unconditional human warmth, leaving his main legacy: appreciating the moments.

Puerto Lussich

I remember at the start of the 90s when I had to take my first fly fishing exam in Argentina. Jorge Donovan, always to be remembered for having introduced the principle of catch and release, and Mel were assessing my meager technique on the banks of the Chimehuin River. That day I realized there was another world I did not know. Mel showed it to me as we were sitting on the banks and he said to me: “Now it’s time for you to learn the philosophy of this activity”. He told me about respect for the environment and the release of all the species to their natural habitat with the least damage possible; also he told me about having a friendly and respectful attitude both inside and out of the river, which is the place where fly fishing achieves the most splendor.

Thanks to Mel I understood that a good technique is not enough to be able to teach. I came to learn that through fly fishing we enrich our spirit as we improve human relations and the habitat.

In touch with nature

The quality of this recreative experience is more than just relating to the fish through a line. The angler cannot ignore the bond with the fish and all that comes with it. Adolfo Bioy Casares in his story “Bajo el agua” (Under the water), from his book “Muñeca Rusa” (Russian doll) builds a love relation with the salmonides and us. Love and the search for the moment has all to do with this activity. As Mel put it “many of us expect to find some day, somewhere, in one bend of the river, the mermaid that will take us to encounter a dream experience”.

Bioy, who used to come down to Quillen Lake in his youth, when he decided to write “Under The Water” called me insistently to help him refresh his memory about places he had known years back. In those conversations he was surprised that I was already fishing and releasing all the fish (salmonides) so he thought this make a wonderful subject to introduce into his love story. I recommend all anglers to read the story.

That is why a love relationship is another moment in fly fishing; it has to do with the search, with pleasure, the releasing back with the least harm, the surprise of the encounter, sharing, anxiety, nerves, loss, frustration, imagining and the new search for that relationship or a new one.

The sense of surprise and not knowing what each bite brings is an added element to this magic; not knowing what is in the end of the line produces a rush of adrenalin.

I look for slowness when fly fishing. Moving gently offers us the possibility of observing a lot more. Watching is not the same as looking. To learn how to watch you need to spend more time in the water; in those moments you need the valuable advice of a guide who shows you how to contemplate in detail.

And thus the moments will multiply

You must have noted I do not relate fishing with the sport, because to me it is a recreative activity and a sport is competition between human beings and not with the fish.

A lot happens around us in a natural environment that is why we need to spend more of those “moments” to understand what it is all about. Otherwise the mermaid might find someone else…

By Mario Lussich