Fly Fishing for Common Ground
Steve Ehrlich, Instructor
Osher Lifelong Institute at Washington University
Wednesdays, January 11-March 1, 2023
10:00 am – noon
“Our common interest is to … promote the health of nature and the best of human nature.”
-Steve Ramirez, Casting Onward: Fishing Adventures in Search of America’s Native Gamefish
“Wild streams are great storehouses of hope … and conduits of human relation.”
-Quinn Grover, Wilderness of Hope: Fly Fishing and Public Lands in the American West
Fly fishing, often characterized as a metaphor for life, is a source of deep self-examination, healing, and renewal, personally and professionally. But there’s another, equally compelling dimension that, more than ever, warrants attention. As an expression of our interaction with a larger cultural and natural landscape—the commons—fly fishing serves another, perhaps even higher calling: to help us understand, respect, and repair a broken world (politically, socially, economically, environmentally, spiritually) and find common ground, new leadership, and hope in these extraordinarily disorienting and divisive times.
This class explores this theme through the lens of several recent contributions to the pool of meditative fly fishing literature: Casting Onward: Fishing Adventures in Search of America’s Native Gamefish, by Steve Ramirez; and Wilderness of Hope: Fly Fishing and Public Lands in the American West, by Quinn Grover. These eloquent personal narratives, along with other thought-provoking reading selections, will guide discussion about our personal, collective, and ecological well-being. We will examine the choices we make that define our relationships with our natural world and with each other, and that determine who we want to be and how we want to live. The class is for anyone, angler or not, who views the great outdoors and our common ground as a source of wisdom and hope in a changing world.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”
-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It