Published Jun 30. 2012 - 11 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 28. 2021

Intermittent Rewards

This week's "Fish On" blog post comes Reese Ferguison. Reese will be participating in the September Reel Recovery Retreat in Idaho and will be one of the central stories in this documentary.

This week's "Fish On" blog post comes from my good friend and fishing buddy Reese Ferguison. Reese will be participating in the September Reel Recovery Retreat in Idaho and will be one of the central stories in this documentary. You can learn a bit more about Reese by viewing our Kickstarter fundraising video here. -travis

Intermittent rewards. It is why people play slot machines. It is the anticipation of a payout; but never knowing when it will happen. It could be that next pull. It can be addicting for some; they hit a small reward and the coins clank in the metal tray, the bells ring, lights flash; excitement wells up in their chest. The endorphins are released in their brain and they continue to seek that excitement and that feeling of winning.

Sort of reminds me of fly fishing without all the annoying bells and whistles. I'm addicted to the intermittent rewards of standing in a river throwing a bug and watching it bounce on the riffles in the perfect seam and seeing that dark shadow rise and slurp my presentation. I feel the heat rise up in my chest as I see that flash of color in the water and feel the quick tugs in my wrist as the fish devours the fly and swims for an escape. My brain is filled with energy as I begin to assess the fish and create a plan for playing the fish and locating a spot to land and release the fish. For the moment, all else in the world is gone and my senses are alive.

Reese in te sunset -
Reese with a broad smile -
Travis Swartz

The beauty of fly fishing is that between these intermittent rewards are other rewards; constant rewards. I feel like I have won the day when I get to spend a few hours standing in a river with a good friend pursuing trout. There is something about sharing the outdoors and appreciating nature with a good friend or even alone that releases us from any mundane daily tasks. If I happen to have one of those fishing days without experiencing a lightning flash fight with a trout; I am still excited about a day of fly fishing.

I think all fly fishermen get this; it is why we care so much about not just the fishing, but the fish themselves and the environment that they live and thrive. It is this feeling and joy and peace connected to fly fishing that has brought Travis and me together to create a film that will help others know what deep down all of us fly fisherman experience on the water. With the help of contributions from individuals and organizations we hope to show in this film the healing and rewards of fly fishing and educate those who would like to also participate in this most rewarding sport.


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