By Anna Cohen for Amberjack Journal
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen Claire Topalian sets her mind to something, she doesn’t stop until it is done. Earlier this year she found herself in need of a new project. She picked fly fishing and set out on a mission to learn everything she could about the sport. Starting from scratch, she has been teaching herself how to fly fish by reading books, watching Youtube videos, and practicing knot-tying on the bus to work. Claire has learned a lot along the way, and she is sharing some of what she’s learned here with us.
- Tell us a little about yourself! What is your full name and occupation?
My name is Claire Topalian, I’m a 27-year-old Seattle native, and I’m currently the PR Director for a local startup called Transpose.
- What first got you interested in fly fishing?
I’ve had a mellow curiosity for fly-fishing for years. I think the interest spurred from growing up in the Pacific Northwest and hearing about the sport in the area. I’m sure this interest was also magnified by popular culture: seeing the film adaptation of A River Runs Through It alone piqued my curiosity years ago. Without any experience in the sport, I had a very romantic association with fly-fishing built up in my mind. I am kind of an “old soul” in the sense that I appreciate tradition, history, and cultural customs that might be considered outdated today. I think fly-fishing has a clear, active presence in today’s culture on a lot of levels, but something about the sport always struck me as linked to tradition. Perhaps that’s simply because fly-fishing models one of the activities that our ancestors had to do to eat and survive. Fly-fishing will always nod to this origin, even if it’s adopted by most people as pure sport today. Anyone who’s fly-fished can probably attest to the fact that one’s senses are suddenly more necessary and “awake” in order to fly-fish more effectively. This small outcome alone reminds me how natural fly-fishing is and that the impetus behind the sport (catching your next meal) is actually very simple and tied to basic human needs.