I strolled through a great post from Matthew over at Casting Across earlier, talking about gear and the like. Be sure to check it out because it spawned this post.
I jumped into the fly fishing world 6 years ago, and when I did, I purchased a Redington Crosswater outfit as my first foray into fly slinging. Affordable, check. Decent quality, check. Good for a beginner, check. It all lined up, and I pulled the trigger.
6 years later, I still take that same Crosswater outfit with me every single time I head out to chase local trout. I’ve bought other gear in that 6 year period, and use other gear from time-to-time when I go out, but that original outfit holds a special place in the lineup, and it always will.
I don’t have old fly fishing gear from my dad or other relatives; I’m not even sure any of them had ever picked up a fly rod. I do have some old traditional gear that was handed down, along with a love for the outdoors that ultimately led me to find fly fishing.I learned that experiences are what we make of them, not what we purchase to pursue them.
I learned how to fly fish on that Crosswater outfit. I learned how to appreciate the small streams that I’m fortunate enough to step into. I learned that bad casts and tangled lines are motivation builders. I learned that a $100 outfit can provide all of the same therapeutic benefits of an $800 version.
I hope to some day pass that cheap Crosswater outfit down to my daughter. If I’ve taught her well, she’ll use it to create experiences of her own.
I believe we’re all guilty of acquiring expensive gear that we likely didn’t need, no matter what the hobby. I’ve always tried to keep that in check in my personal endeavors, and instead, focus on the experiences that come from that gear. I’ve learned along the way that gear doesn’t matter nearly as much as the satisfaction acquired from putting that gear to good use.
We all have differing opinions on what level of gear is required to do that, and there really is no right or wrong on your decision. I’m sure I’ll purchase other gear to keep chasing trout, but that original Crosswater outfit will always be around to remind me of what really matters. Your first one is special.
No matter what gear you choose to purchase, I hope it helps you craft experiences that you’ll remember forever.