Written by Sandee Setliff – OK, so fly fishing is way outside my comfort zone, so bear with me. There is something so romantic about the sport: speaking as a woman who only catches her fish in the market place. Men, all decked out in their waders, vests and hats, carrying their rod and reel cases to go stand knee deep in the swirling currents of the French Broad River. But wait, they are going out in a boat….on a lake? Where are the waders? The vests? For Pete’s sake, I didn’t know they could do it on a boat? Of course, there isn’t much I know about fly fishing period, except for the visual imagery I see when I accidentally flip the TV channel over to a fishing channel.
But on this autumn day out at the Biltmore Estates’ beautiful lake, where the leaves were just turning color and the air was crisp, I got to listen in on two instructors talking about Drift Boat Fly Fishing and some of their philosophies behind the sport. They had some real one liners too. My friends and I were busily taking notes while sketching and trying to go unnoticed as we listened in on them. (We are a dangerous bunch I tell you! Beware of plein air sketchers!)
One of my favorite lines was, “You get more out of your guide if you don’t scare them to death.” HA! I wish he had elaborated more on what that entailed. Maybe we needed to scoot over a little closer so we could hear better? I wonder if they would have noticed three women encroaching into their space? I bet he had some wild stories to share! And then there was the sound advice, ” If you think about anything else you’ll screw it up.” I could have listened to them all day, they even gave me a movie, highly recommended by them, “Once in a Blue Moon”. I couldn’t wait to go home and check it out. Well, that lasted all of 3 minutes once I saw the trailer to it. It involved mice….uhm…not for me. But hey, maybe you will like it.
They were very sweet and apologized when they had to get into the boat and venture out into the lake knowing that they were taking away our source for sketching. We assured them it was OK, and they kindly answered our questions with patience and lots of smiles. The Biltmore Estate guides, Jules and Don, were quite the charmers, easy going, laid back, and willing to pose for pictures. Once they pulled out into the lake, I watched them cast and row about with all the golden colors of the fauna flanking them. It was easy to see what the attraction to fishing was all about. Even for a non fishing person like myself. The serenity and getting away from everything and just losing yourself to the day is a true art form in itself.
In the late afternoon with the skies darkening and the threat of a shower on the horizon we had to pack up our art supplies and leave. We couldn’t help but exclaim how fast the day had gone and how much we had enjoyed our time.
Please excuse the pun, but time does fly when you are having fun.
Sandee Setliff is a contemporary mixed media artist and art journalist, enjoying her journey into writing. Her art work can be viewed year round at the Art Mob Studio and she teaches Art Journaling classes at the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Athletics and Activity Center in Hendersonville.