Well, today I smelled it in the wind. Summer is running on fumes, rain has returned and the trout that made it through these last several weeks are probably breathing a little easier now. I haven’t been fishing much these last few weeks, mainly due to work, soccer practice and subsequent games on Saturday mornings – but also because of the heat and low water levels in the river. I just feel bad for the fish because I know, like us above the surface, below the surface they are struggling too.
I have, instead, used my time to catch up on some reading, and complete the tasks previously mentioned with little distraction. In the books I have been reading, certainly all about fishing, life, relationships and how they are all hopelessly tangled (like some of my clients leaders), I can’t help but wonder how all these topics get brought up in so many different ways, yet still have a common thread running through them.
The thread, to me at least, is how angling integrates into my life at all the truly important times. I like to keep a running list going of how these stories compare and differ to me and the way I live my life. Sometimes this is helpful, not only in validating how I have handled some events in my life, but also as a map of things to come.
One factor that remains somewhat common throughout most of these books and articles, is that they are mostly written by fellows a bit older than myself – and many of them are now divorced. The authors relate many similar feelings about their divorces throughout their fishing flavored writings and no doubt both the writing and the fishing have been therapeutic in moving on. But as someone that is still married, I often ponder the issues that seem to surround the authors’ divorces and how these events also relate to fishing.
I have been blessed with an ability to see things from many angles and perspectives, which is what makes me a decent social worker and counselor-like person. So, what I see from where I sit, is that maybe some of these guys maybe didn’t employ some of the same expert, precise, passionate tactics into their marriage that they take for granted in application on the stream.
One point being, fishing is work.
To imply that fishing is 100% relaxing, at least physically, is a misconception. Fishing on the level I find myself now, and most of the authors that have had much to say about it, find out themselves it takes lots of time. It takes being out there on days that are cold, rainy, hot, dry, slogging in muddy water, and when you swear there are no fish in sight. To most, those are wasted days and there is likely a couch and a game on somewhere that others are enjoying much more than you are your day. But to us, they are experiences in which something is learned that may improve odds for our next time out in those conditions. You learn to adapt, to change something, sometimes just one minor adjustment births success. Though there may be some initial complaining, we are still out there; we are still fishing and still fueling that flame.
This is one area that seems to be left out of the whole relationship/marriage/angling commonality. Marriage is also work. You have committed to be in it in all conditions. When it is hot and when it is not. When it is freezing cold and you swear there is no love in sight, you are still in there together – and when it’s good it’s much better than you ever imagined. However, it is in these less than favorable conditions, these bad days, when we fisherman need to adapt. We need to try something different. Cast a seldom called upon fly. Sure it’s easy to blame the water, the kid’s schedule, the wind, the job, the rain, the money and all other barriers to success and sit on the couch. Or we can employ the same madness to figuring out what is going to make it work. It is fishing in its purest form simply related to marriage in its most complicated scenarios.
I love my wife. I love her as much as I love fishing.
Before anyone says anything about me not loving my wife more than I love fishing. If you are one of the few people that really know much about me, you will understand just how much love that really is. I could not live a proper existence without either, firmly rooted into my soul. Nor could I live a balanced life if I continually put one above the other. When I think of the times when I didn’t give her as many chances as I have given some of the trout out there that I have tried to catch, I feel like kicking myself somewhere special. I am a truly lucky fisherman to have her to cast to.
Guest Blogger and Hookers Fly Shop Guide Cris Weatherford
And for your pleasure, some of the lyrics to Spring Wind by Greg Brown:
In a mucked up lovely river,
I cast my little fly.
I look at that river and smell it
And it makes me wanna cry.
Oh to clean our dirty planet,
Now there’s a noble wish,
And I’m puttin my shoulder to the wheel
’cause I wanna catch some fish.
Children go to sleep now-
You know it’s gettin’ late.
I know you don’t like to miss nothin’
And school ain’t that great.
Oh, I’ll dance with you when you’re happy,
And hold you when you’re sad,
And hope you know how glad I am,
Just to be you’re Dad.
Darlin’ it’s been a hard go
But I think we’ll be okay.
I know I say that all the time
Like everything else I say.
Oh, I’ve been gone so often,
But every time I miss you,
And I don’t really know nothin’,
Except I like to kiss you.