Soft light filters through the mist and trees. I pull up to my chosen spot. I hop out of the car and take it all in. Its good to be here. After a few minutes I start setting up. I chose a fly. The car door clicks and I make my way to the river. I make my first cast, the fly drifts down the current. Repeat. Virgin water lies ahead of me. It will be the same all day. There is no rush. No pressure. Its just me, the stream and the fish. The fish aren’t playing ball yet. They will. After an hour or so, a few fly changes, the first fish comes to hand. I take a photo for the blog. Another fish soon follows. Another shot. The blog job is done. Now I’m fishing just for pleasure. The camera packed away for the day unless something spectacular happens. No distractions. Just fishing. Just the way I like it.
As the day rolls on, my mind almost goes blank. A calmness overtakes me. Completely alone. Its good. The birds, the stream, the trees, the bugs all the company I need. I’m content. Fish come to hand consistently. After an especially pretty little brown I sit on a mid stream rock. Still. Silent. Taking it all in. For 10 or so minutes I do nothing, I just sit. Without too much thought, without a making a conscious decision, I am back fishing. Its easy now, almost automatic.
A little later, the fish stop playing ball and my brain kicks back into gear for a while. The sun is now high in the sky. The fish are rising less willingly. I tie on a nymph. The fish start coming again. None of them are big, but thats not what todays about. Today is just about being here. Casting, fishing, experiencing. The little jewels coming to hand are just a bonus. I don’t spend much time with each fish. All fish after the first two are released while in the water. Today isn’t about trophies. Its about moments. The cast, the take, the fight, the release. Each of these moments punctuates the day.
At some point during the afternoon, I’ve had my fill. Again, almost unconsciously I find myself packing up and starting the long walk back to the car. I throw my rod in the back and hop in the car. I turn the key and start driving home. Back to normal life. Happy to be returning, better for the few hours of peace and solitude. A much needed reset.
When I get home I crack a beer. It is perfect. I’m also starving. I haven’t eaten anything all day. It was a good day.