The rising sun announces its ascent through a gradual increase in light as darkness is broken by twilight, hiding the stars until the sun emerges. Daylight allows fly anglers to rely on eyesight to examine the water, boulders, and riparian areas to find fish and place their flies. While managing a fly line, the sense of touch allows an angler to feel a strike and react by setting a hook. But how much does the sense of hearing aid an angler?

A Light Breeze Blows Along the Stream Valley

I’d never really thought about how hearing influences my fishing experiences until this past week and it wasn’t fishing that brought the thought to mind. It was coffee. One of my first thoughts each day is anticipation for my first cup of coffee. I appreciate the ritual of the preparation, the smell, the sounds, the warmth, and the taste. I often sit and sip at my desk after walking the dog while getting ready for work. It helps me start my day and focus. 

Falling Water Babbling Past Boulders

On our recent family vacation, as to be expected, it was not always easy to find some quiet space. Starting my day either fishing or sitting outside with a cup of coffee provided me with those moments. The cool air hit my face as I slid the glass door open and made my way out on the deck down to the patio. I’d feel the dew through my sandals as I sat in the Adirondack chairs just into the grass. A wisp of steam warmed my nose as I took the first deep breath of morning. It was at that point when I would inventory and appreciate the sounds. First, I noticed the buzz of the insects pulsing in the background. Then layers of bird calls and songs in different pitches, rhythms and cadences. I lingered on the bird songs, trying to count how many different calls I could identify. 

Then came the sound of the water, the repetitive lapping of the water against the shoreline. The world was waking up at its own pace, as my mind reengaged. Spending ten to fifteen minutes listening to the sounds of the morning activity was soothing and energizing. I also noticed as other people around me started their days, typically a neighbor making their way down to the docks to fish or load their boats for the day, the natural sounds would soften and fade. I would become distracted by their activities, or I would wonder what I needed to do to start my day.

The Power of a Waterfall

This morning, as we were putting up a new bird feeder, my wife shared a story with me about an article that described how listening to birds improves mental health. I told her about sitting with my morning coffee, listening to the sounds of life around the lake. It was at that point I connected to the impacts of the sounds of fly fishing. The call of the kingfishers and red-tailed hawks, the hum of grasshoppers and crickets, wind rustling the leaves, and the babble and rush of flowing water. These sounds can feel like the soundtrack of my angling life, overlain with an awkward splash of a misstep, the woosh of the fly line, or the crunch of gravel under my feet. 

Rushing Water Over a Steep Riffle

I love all those sounds. 

Once in a while it’s good to close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you. They give you more than you know.               

Keep Mending…

2 Replies to “Take Time to Enjoy the Relaxing Sounds of Fly Fishing”

  1. I absolutely get what you are saying!
    Years ago when I took sign language classes, the instructors told us how important sounds were to life and how the lack of that affected deaf people. Sounds give us comfort and a sense of well being even the sounds of the dishwasher, the microwave beeping, the shower running! Together they help establish our environment!
    I like how you experienced the sounds of nature to better appreciate how they contribute to our well being!

  2. I find it surprising that fly fishing can help you destress and unwind while learning how to catch your favorite fish. My friend wants to try investing in an activity that’ll take most of his free time after work. Maybe it’s time that we find a fishing instructor where he could do this someday.

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