Fly Fishing in Mythology

Mythology is rich with material that relates to fly fishing as we know it today. The mythology of rivers, for example, is rich with tales and stories (you may recall before we mentioned the mythological roots of the word “nymph”). Macedonia’s Astraeus river is an interesting source of tales, for example. A Professor Hammond expresses the view that “...there was a nymph Astraea, appropriate to a river of her name, ‘Astraeus,‘ and that she was selected as the nurse of the lady Beroe, the patroness of Beroea...‘ which is the most likely reason for the river acquiring its name.

The Encyclopaedia Mythica states:

“Astraea (‘the star-maiden’) is the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was, as was her mother, a goddess of justice. During the Golden Age, when the gods dwelled among mankind, she lived on the earth. When evil and wickedness increased its grip on humanity, the gods abandoned the habitations of mankind. Astraea was the last to leave and took up her abode among the stars where she was transformed into the constellation Virgo.”

In Greek mythology Eos was the goddess of dawn and the sister of Helios, the Sun, and Selene, the Moon. Her husband was Aeolus, also known as Astraeus, by whom she bore the stars and the winds. Because Eos slept with Ares, Aphrodite turned her into a nymphomaniac. Yet another potential source for the word nymph as used in fly fishing, though calling on the ancient Gods to help your fly fishing go better is probably as waste of time.

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