Slow down, and read. 

Read early, read often. 

Writing’s the way we overcome a finite lifespan and a lot’s been written about fly fishing for a long time.  If you’re new to the sport, you’re five centuries behind. So read.

It’s cold this time of year if you’re up in the northern hemisphere; in a lot of places fishing has shut down, or slowed.  Sun sets early.  Spend some time reading.

Make it a habit.  Visit your local library, your local used book store, your local fly shop.  If you’re hopelessly tethered to the internet find a quaint independent publisher or a legacy online retailer like The Book Mailer.  If you’re too cheap for that or for Amazon, use a free resource like And read.

Read about Rod Brown and Lee Wulff and Joe Brooks or Tom McGuane for that matter and immerse yourself in a time or place which no longer exists.  Pay attention- less to how they fish and more to why they fish. It’ll be more interesting than the big fish dick-measuring competition over on Instagram.  Promise.

 There’s several great books- light science from well-regarded researchers about rivers and streams and conservation biology.  The way aquatic ecosystems are put together.  The threats they face.  Be a better, more informed citizen.  Read them. The fisheries you’ll learn to value depend on it.

But anything’s better than nothing and nothing’s worse than asking the  question answered a day or a decade or a century ago.

 So do better.