When people ask me what the best part of fly fishing is, I automatically think of my husband. For the past 4 years, he has been my greatest supporter and cheerleader– always making sure I’m enjoying what I do. That increased exponentially when he introduced me to fly fishing.
He’d been fishing with his dad since he was in diapers, and has always fiddled with the idea of getting back into fly fishing. So finally I asked the big question that I had bouncing around in my head, Will you teach me what fly fishing is all about?
It was as if fireworks lit up in his eyes, sort of like Pepe Lè Pew in love. Over the past several weeks this spring I briefly played with a fly rod but could not, for the life of me, figure out the finesse with false casting. Frustrated enough, I put it down for several weeks. It wasn’t until our next trip where it seemed like everything clicked and I was hooked. Below are three points that I believe makes a great fishing partner.
Point #1: They teach you new things and find great enjoyment in seeing you thrive.
You have your own teacher/personal guide who will ultimately be curious enough to go out of their way and research fly methods or gear and locations. One morning after working a 12 hour night shift we decided to take a 4.5 hour drive to Shenandoah Valley to fish for native Brookies. That was one of the best days, besides running into a bear cub climbing a tree about a mile and a half into our trek. I had told Chandler that my first fish on the fly would be a Brookie, and so it was.
A couple of weeks after that, I dabbled more into fly fishing but it wasn’t until I caught my biggest brown trout near our house in Southwest Virginia. That’s when I realized that life doesn’t get better any than having your life partner be your fishing partner as well.
Point #2: Celebrating every fish.
Not only do we get to rant and geek out over gear and methods, but he gets to see my best accomplishments. I couldn’t imagine having had anyone else with me when I landed my 15.5″ Brown Trout. I looked at him as soon as the hook set and gave him the “holy cow this is huge” look. As soon as I had it in the net, I didn’t know whether to laugh, scream, or cry. Regardless, it didn’t matter because we were jumping and high-fiving like little kids. At that moment, I knew this is what I was made for.
Point #3: Your wins are their wins.
I don’t think that a fishing partner should be envious or severely competitive when out enjoying what you both love to do. That’s not to mention that some friendly competition isn’t welcomed, because I’d be lying if I didn’t try to catch larger fish, or higher quantities just to keep him on his toes. Usually, though, he has no problem admitting that I usually catch more fish than him. But, when he does get the fish of the day, he definitely leaves me in his dust trail.
So you see, I got lucky when I became his wife. But I won the jackpot the day we stepped out in the river to fish together. Now, it’s literally all we do and talk about. If everyone had a fishing partner like we have in each other, I do believe people would be way happier and stress-free. And if you don’t have a lifelong fishing partner yet, even if it’s a buddy you work with or your best girlfriend, it’ll happen. You never know who you’ll run into on the river, or even on social media!
You can follow along with Kayla Dickenson and her husband on Instagram at @theflyfishingwife or get in touch with her via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos courtesy of Thea Maddox @theamaddoxphotography.