Breathing: Why Fly Fishers Catch & Release

Breathing: Why Fly Fishers Catch & Release.  This marks the second installment of a three post series that completes what we call The Spirit Streams Experience.  Giving you insight behind why we call ourselves “Spirit Streams” which also plays into what we believe to be the core essence of fly fishing itself.

The first installment was the “Spring Creek Journey”.  Fly fishing is a journey that begins the second you pick up a rod for the first time and never ends but only intensifies year by year.  There is always something new to learn, new to master, new that will humble you, new to explore, and new to discover.  The ultimate destination will always remain in the journey of fly fishing.  That’s the beauty of our sport.  That’s the challenge of our sport.  That’s what keeps us coming back for more.  That’s what makes us fall in love with fly fishing more and more with each outing.  That’s what makes it the most beautiful sport in the world.  But just as important as the journey is to fly fishing, so is breathing, and so is what you will read in the third installment of this three post series.  But first, let’s talk breathing.

Breathing.  Real, true breathing.  No, you can’t breathe inside your house staring at a television.  No, you can’t breathe sitting inside a man-made office building staring at a computer.  No, you can’t breathe riding in your car.  No, you can’t breathe shopping for more and more stuff that you don’t need.  You get the idea.  It’s pretty hard to breathe in the society we live in today.  All of that stuff takes the breath out of you and makes you older, weaker, and more tired.  That is why it is so important to escape and experience the Real World, no not the real world that your teachers tell you about in school, I’m talking about the only Real World that’s out there.  Yes, Nature’s world.  Being a fly fisher for trout, you get to experience some of Nature’s most beautiful wonders.  Taking you to places you otherwise wouldn’t even know existed.  Allowing you to take deep, true breaths with each trout held in your hand.

A great short film was created by RC Cone and presented by Imago Fly Fishing that really captures this need in all of us to breathe.  This need only becomes more and more pronounced as the world we live in becomes more and more fake.  RC Cone put it real well when he said:

“When I lift a fish from the water to admire it, I realized I was borrowing a breath from the fish, or borrowing some of its wild energy, to rejuvenate myself and help me take my next steps.  It is an amazing thing that a fish can do that through its sacrifice of 5-10 seconds of no-breath to push me forward in my life.  That fish’s sacrifice, so close to death, helps me live.  I thought that concept was profound and realized how important deep, meaningful breaths are.”

All of my non-fly fishing friends ask me countless and repetitive times why in the world would I go fishing and keep but few trout compared to the sheer number caught.  Breathing, my friends, breathing.  They are what keeps me alive, what brings happiness, what brings meekness, what brings awe, what brings appreciation, and what brings inspiration.  Would you kill something that had such a profound impact and purpose to your life if not in need?

It takes so much sacrifice, dedication, motivation, and determination to become successful at fly fishing that once you finally reach that level, it is no longer just about hauling in a ton of trout.  You’re much more invested and connected.  It then becomes about the experience, the journey, the breaths.

Yes, here at Spirit Streams, we’re all about breathing.  Taking true, deep breaths.  Staying alive and flying free.

Spirit Streams

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4 Responses to Breathing: Why Fly Fishers Catch & Release

  1. darren says:

    This post almost made me leave work and go find a stream.

  2. robert garnier says:


    Nice story line and video, and of course great brown trout. My favorite scene in video is just after the opening. There is a shot of you, or angler, casting and camera is placed slightly behind and left of caster. You see the creek, scenery and best of all the line unfolding gracefully…what makes the shot for me is that the light on the casting line is near perfect…the light illuminates the line…very nice. real nice video.

    • Spirit Streams says:

      Hey Bob, thanks a lot. Yes, that is me in the video. The pictures that you’ve been posting on your site have been beautiful and really captures the great scenery that you fish within. I’ve got a post coming soon that covers the entire Driftless from a trip I took a couple weeks ago. I unfortunately suffered a bit of a setback during that trip although I fished through it at the time. It is keeping me off the stream and makes typing a slow-go, hence the lack of recent posts. It was definitely worth it though as you’ll soon see. :)

      Thanks again for the comment.


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