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Lords of the Fly

Lords of the Fly

In the early 2000s, during the middle years of my preoccupation with fly fishing, I began reading essays by Jim Harrison, who wrote about the joys of fly rods, food, fine wines, and general overindulgence.

My home water at the time was the Rapidan River, a mountain stream in Virginia filled with brook trout. The Rapidan fish were gorgeous and worthy, but undeniably small. So I was entranced by Harrison’s efforts to catch giant tarpon on tiny flies on the flats near Key West.

“You are fly-fishing in the shallow water that is fifty miles wide, and casting only to visible fish,” Harrison wrote. “You are utterly immersed in the act and dare not let a...

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