ON THE MOTHER LAGOON: FLY-FISHING & THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Author: Kathy Sparrow
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing, Mar 2003
Revolving around her own quest to learn to fly fish on the Lower Laguna Madre of south Texas, Kathy Sparrow weaves ageless principles of women's psychology and spiritual practice with a fresh, distinctly feminine approach to fly fishing. 5x8 inches, 224 pgs.
Kathy takes the reader from her early life on the bank with her father and grandfathers to her current status as a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain, a fly fishing guide and lodge owner, and the holder of two records -- an IGFA women's world record speckled trout and a Texas state record ladyfish. Throughout she offers precious technical advice gleaned from male and female anglers alike. From the rod choice to fly selections and line, leader and tippet requirements, she covers a broad range of information including tips on how to see fish, read the water, and become a stealthy wader so you can stalk fish with finesse.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathy Sparrow is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain and fly fishing guide who, along with her husband Captain Scott Sparow, owns and manages Kingfisher Inn in Arroyo City, Texas. She is currently working on a fly fishing novel entitled Lady of the Bay.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
It takes a special sort of person to take up fly fishing, and to embrace a complex learning process that may last years and produce little in the way of results. Add to that the special challenges of saltwater fly fishing, and you end up with a small group of individuals for whom the sheer pursuit of excellence is about the only thing that can explain their behavior.
Several years ago, Kathy Sparrow of Arroyo City, Texas, quietly took up the challenge of fly fishing the lower Laguna Madre under the encouragement of her fly fishing husband and guide, Scott Sparrow. Today, Kathy has become one of the only female saltwater fly fishing-only guides in the country.
Looking back, Kathy admits that she never could have predicted this. ?I grew up in a fishing family in upstate New York. But as a girl, I spent most of my time ?on the bank? watching my grandfathers and father catch the fish.? Only after moving to Virginia as an adult and meeting her future husband Scott did Kathy pick up a rod and discover her deep love of fishing. ?It was really much more than that,? Kathy explains. ?It was about embracing life fully, and finding myself in a deeper way than ever before.?
In 1999, Kathy and Scott took a leap of faith on the basis of their love for fly fishing, and built a fly fishing lodge in Arroyo City -- a fishing village a few miles north of South Padre Island. A native of south Texas, Scott was the obvious choice to serve as Kingfisher?s principal guide, but as the couple worked to build Kingfisher into the first year-round, full-service fly fishing lodge on the Texas coast, it soon became evident that Kathy would need to join Scott on the water, where her contributions to Kingfisher could best be realized. ?I love to cook, and I continue to oversee our meals and lodging,? said Kathy. ?But I soon felt the urge the be on the water, teaching and guiding others who feel similarly about fly fishing.?
Scott and Kathy began ?team guiding? on Scott?s boat soon after Kingfisher opened. Working under Scott?s licenses as a Coast Guard captain and guide, they provided individualized attention to couples who often possessed different levels of skill. ?That was a great way to find out what it would be like to be a guide,? Kathy explained. ?It wasn?t long before Scott and I realized that I needed my own Captain?s license.? And so, in the Spring of 2002, Kathy completed her Captain?s training and began serving alongside Scott as a fully fledged Kingfisher guide.
Amidst all of the work of guiding and running a lodge, Kathy still finds time to fly fish for fun. In early June she weighed in a new women?s 12-pound tippet IGFA Women?s World record for speckled trout. Kathy says, ?It wasn?t a huge fish by conventional standards. But it was a new record, and it was fun set a goal and accomplish it.? The record fish she caught is still swimming free. ?I couldn?t have killed it,? Kathy explained. ?Scott and I weighed it on the water, got a friend to witness the catch, and then let it go unharmed.? She also holds the Texas State fly rod record for ladyfish.
Kathy obviously brings a soft touch to a pursuit already known for its gracefulness. In the Epilogue from her upcoming book, Kathy summarizes what fly fishing is about for her. "I realize that the longing to fish and the longing for stillness is the same. It's the union with God and God's creations that calls to me. It makes me ache in a way that can't be noticed by the untrained eye. But I know. It can't be lulled into acquiescence by a long nap, a good movie, or a glass of wine. With our lines tight, and our rods bent, we come closer to knowing God and acknowledging our Creator's presence not only within ourselves, but in our fellow anglers and those delightful creatures that agree to dance with us on the end of our lines."
Kathy can be reached at Kingfisher Inn, 36901 Marshall Hutts Rd., Arroyo City/Rio Hondo, Texas, 78583, emailed at email@example.com, or called at (956) 748-4350. Kingfisher?s website can be accessed at www.lagunamadre.net.