Izaak Walton once wrote, "As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler." Old Izaak was wrong. Some are born as both.
In the last hundred years Ernest Schwiebert, Winslow Homer, Ogden Pleissner and Eldridge Hardie, all now departed, placated their demons with their art and fly-fishing and true recognition followed these sportsman's lives. A similar affliction claims contemporary artists/fishermen Peter Corbin, René Harrop, David Ruimveld, Diane Michelin, Mike Savlen, Rod Crossman, Brett James Smith, Thomas Aquinas Daly, Derek DeYoung, Larry Corry and Chet Reneson. And this is a very short list.
The songs and acts of the fly-fishing religion and the gift of being able to capture it's images and poetry is reward enough.
For each of these artists, and no matter how closely each attempts to capture reality (capturing reality is not really their main interest anyway), the best always inject into their art new elements and visions which come directly from their own inner world. This is called style. It can also be called salvation.
Salvation suggests permanence but it is not. Personally, I have never needed or wanted to be saved from mortality. I would prefer to be saved from immortality. Although the belief in an after-life is a fundamental tenet of most religions - Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism - I don't seek salvation in the sense of being saved by a divine agency. Salvation may also be thought of as deliverance or redemption in our own time. I value impermanence, it gives meaning and fragrance to living.
Is art and fly-fishing a path to personal salvation? The songs and acts of the fly-fishing religion and the gift of being able to capture it's images and poetry is reward enough. My triumph will be my fragile bookmark in the long encyclopedia of life – WES:::