Fly Fishing-The Sacred Art: Casting a Fly as Spiritual Practice

Fly Fishing-The Sacred Art: Casting a Fly as Spiritual Practice


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Discover the spiritual potential hidden in every cast of the fly rod.

"For us, fly-fishing is about more than catching fish. We have been skunked on the stream too many times to count, and stood shivering in our waders in 45-degree water long after sundown. Yet, every chance we get, we head back to the river in search of trout and something more."
—from Rabbi Eric's Introduction

"Early in my fly-fishing career I remember telling a friend that there is so much to learn! Some forty years later, that is still true. Every trip I learn something new about rivers, fish and the natural world. Most importantly, I learn something new about myself. Every encounter with the waters of our planet draws me deeper into who I am and who I want to become."
—from Reverend Mike's Introduction

In this unique exploration of fly-fishing as a spiritual practice, an Episcopal priest and a rabbi share what fly-fishing has to teach us about reflection, awe and the wonder of the natural world, the benefits of solitude, the blessing of community and the search for the Divine. Tapping the wisdom in the Christian and Jewish traditions and their own geographically diverse experiences on the water, they show how time spent on the stream can help you navigate the currents and eddies of your own inner journey.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594732997
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 04/01/2012
Series: Art of Spiritual Living Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer is creator of The Fly Fishing Rabbi: A Blog about Trout, God and Religion, and a contributor to Trout magazine. He is the spiritual leader of Temple Shearith Israel in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and he fishes the cold-water streams of New York, Connecticut and the Northeast.

Rev. Michael Attas, MD, an avid angler for over forty years, is assisting priest at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Waco, Texas, a practicing cardiologist, professor of medical humanities at Baylor University and a columnist for the Waco Tribune Herald. During the summer months, he works as a volunteer fly-fishing guide in Colorado.

Lori Simon is the executive director of Casting for Recovery, a breast cancer support group that uses fly-fishing to heal sufferers, both mentally and physically. She enjoys the contemplative and spiritual surroundings of the natural world through hiking, fishing, horseback riding and sitting quietly in a canoe.

Chris Wood is president and CEO of Trout Unlimited, the conservation organization whose mission is "conserving, protecting and restoring North America's cold-water fisheries and their watersheds." He is the author of Watershed Restoration: Principles and Practices and coauthor of From Conquest to Conservation: Our Public Land Legacy.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Chris Wood, CEO, Trout Unlimited v

Preface: Lori Simon, executive director, Casting for Recovery ix

Introduction: Rabbi Eric xi

Introduction: Reverend Mike xv

Chapter 1 In the Beginning

Preparing for the River 1

The Fly-Angler's Gear Checklist 11

Reflection Questions 12

Exercise: The Significance of Your Gear 13

Chapter 2 Getting There

Escaping the Everyday 15

Reflection Questions 31

Exercise: Meditative Walking to the River 31

Chapter 3 Being There

Wading into the Stream and into Yourself 33

Reflection Questions 48

Exercise: The Basics of Fly-Casting 49

Exercise: Improving Your Fly-Casting with Lefty Kreh's Five Principles 51

Chapter 4 Homecoming

Peace and Harmony at the End of the Day 53

Reflection Questions 61

Exercise: Five-Step Meditation for the End of the Day 62

Chapter 5 Common Ground

Fishing with Friends 65

Reflection Questions 79

Exercise: Become a Part of a Fly-Fishing Community 79

Chapter 6 Unfamiliar Terrain

Fishing Far from Home 81

Reflection Questions 96

Exercise: Keep a Fly-Fishing Travel Journal 97

Chapter 7 Fly-Tying

A Recipe for Creativity 99

Reflection Questions 106

Exercise: Tie Your Own Fly 106

Chapter 8 Stewardship and Conservation

Giving Back to the Stream 109

Reflection Questions 123

Exercise: Get Involved to Protect the Rivers You Fish 124

Acknowledgments 127

Notes 129

Suggestions for Further Reading 131

Fly-Fishing Resources 133

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