As the years mature our perceptions also mature. The well seasoned fisherman, especially the fly fisherman, now having caught literal schools of fish, monster fish, and dozens of species of fish, begins to explore other realms. He has no choice, - there's nowhere else to go.
Ultimately, to fully understand fly fishing means to explore all, or as many facets of the obsession, that can be endured in a lifetime. Not all of these aspects are practical and as setting-sun junkies know, not all of these dimensions are healthy. Somewhere in the middle is safety and sanity.
Fly fishing for billfish or sharks can represent one extreme; dangerous fish = big rigs = big flies. No less worthy of our time and ambition is exploring the virtues of the ultra-fine. Pushing the spectrum on the light side is chasing dainty brookies with 2-weight rods and 8X tippet. Each realm requires focus and discipline.
The well seasoned fly fisherman will explore other realms...other disciplines.
The virtues of 8X probably aren't apparent from the get-go. We're talking a tippet diameter of a wisp-like .003" and only 1.75 pounds test. But then what are the virtues of BionicOpter dragonflies, nano-Bibles and A-cup bras?
In the end it amounts to the prestige…not pride…of fishing a well fished day. - WES:::