I remember a relationship expert saying that honeymoons last five to ten years, and that at some point it just becomes too difficult to maintain the intensity that goes along with a new relationship. Perhaps the same is true of hobbies?
In terms of fishing "outings", I've pretty much maintained a constant interest in getting on the water. I've never been a 100-day flyfisherman like a couple of my closest fishing buddies. For me 20-30 days a year has always given me the balance I needed.
But other things have changed:
Though I still maintain this blog and my fishingwithflies.com website, additions are less frequent (but not inconsequential, IMO.) Blog: I see I wrote 26 blog postings in 2011 and 25 in 2012. And there were over 4,000 visits last year. Website: Though I have only added a couple of pages this past year, because of the website having 10+ years on the world wide web, readership is still high. It numbered 60,000 visits last year.
I no longer thumb through the latest catalogs, putting "stickies" on pages with equipment or supplies I wanted to consider buying. I have all the equipment I need or want. I probably had all the equipment I "needed" years before I stopped buying all the equipment I "wanted". I can't remember the last time I even flipped through a Cabelas Flyfishing Catalog. I used to love the Feather-Craft catalog, but don't even know if I still get it. I used to speak frequently with Jim Kruel at English Angling Trappings and Chris Helm at Whitetail Flytieing [his spelling] about tying materials.
As far as fishing equipment, I have more than many and less than others. My rod rack is full with about 8 rods and the little drawer under it has 5 reels in it. The past several years I have used only two of the rods and two of the reels.
I am sure there have been many fly line "upgrades" over recent years and all kinds of specialized lines for all sorts of fish. But I am perfectly happy with my classic Cortland 444 (peach colored) lines. All the smallies, largies, trout, sunfish, pickerel, perch, rock bass, fall fish, and crappies that I caught last year were perfectly happy with the distance, accuracy and color of the 444 peach!
I am amazed that I have four tying vises. I plan to sell my Regal and Dan Vise. That would leave me with two vises that go well beyond my skills: the LAW bench vise and the JVice. Both were bought during more passionate times. They are beautiful machines.
|The LAW Bench Vise is a thing of beauty. Though my skills can not match its capabilities, it is an absolute joy to use.|
I can't believe all the tying materials I have. During a three year period (ending perhaps 4 years ago) I believe my supplies increased about 10 times. I will never use this stuff up. But I think it is the result of fishing have many sub-hobbies. Acquiring good tools can be a hobby all unto itself. The same goes for the acquisition of nice materials, such as buying yet another hen neck from Charlie Collins or Denny Conrad.
Finally, I have just now broken away from writing this post for a minute...to look at my fishing bookcase (3 shelves on a wall) and to take a photo of it. It's hard to believe that I have read all of these books. I doubt I have looked at any of these books during the last five years.
...No, that's not true. I have spent some time with the awesome Leeson and Schollmeyer's Benchside Reference, Hughes' Trout Flies, and Hellikson's Fish Flies.
|These are all fishing books, except the several Dummies books stacked horizontally on the second shelf.|
My other current "Serious Hobby" is photography. It consumes the energy and dollars that I once applied to flyfishing. As hobbies go, it is actually quite similar to flyfishing. I have a photography Web site (see link in the left side-bar) which includes a blog, just like I do with flyfishing! I might blog about the similarities some time. In the meantime I am wondering if I should sell most of my flyfishing books to make room for all the photography books I am buying.
... No, I don't think so. More likely, I will just build another shelf (or two or three) in my den (a.k.a. Pete's Playroom). I think the two hobbies live pretty well together.