Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Longing to Know on the Dream Stream

Some things are rare in life.  What are the chances of my client John and I arriving on the Dream Stream and fishing virtually alone?

And rarer still, what are the chances of two men at mid life (ok, I guess I am past midlife already), casting to the elusive large forms moving under the currents while we talk about the deeper longings of the heart? Can two men, two strangers, really talk about such longings of the soul?

What longings?  There is the longing to connect to the huge fish that seem to avoid and reject every offering we make.   But there is more; the longing to connect to the beauty all around us, to each other, to life;  To some “bigger” life and perspective that is beyond fish caught or political debates or the score of some football game.

There are many things but as fly fishers there is the longing to know why the giant fish rejects us time and time again and the hours slip away.  But then there is the longing to know why a particular fish in the next moment takes the fly and we are tight to a huge mysterious Brown.  And at times, those fish stay on, and find themselves in our net and our trembling hands. 

And then there are the things we do not know, and perhaps can never know.  Regardless, to John it was "the longing to know.”  Know what?  It varies for each of us. We all have our losses and want to know. John was  thinking of deeper currents. Why at times in life we find love, meaning and belonging, and at other times we lose it and cannot find it? How can we ever know and understand such catches and losses?

We caught some huge beautiful fish and we also lost some. We long to know. We long to know where and if we belong in this vast valley under a wide sky. And we long to return.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Luckiest Man in the World: Fly Fishing With Hope

If with a friend I can twirl this rod around my head again and again;  Casting my fly through the wind; and catch nothing, or maybe Something,  or at least hope that a fish might suddenly tug on the line, all within this beautiful place,  who is not to say I am the luckiest man in the world?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dream Stream: Waiting and Waiting in the South Park Wind

We were cold and the wind was relentless. Nymphing was not producing. BWO"s were being blown all over the waters surface. A few risers were present. In between gusts we tried to cast. And after all that waiting and wind, sometimes a fish rose to take our dry fly.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sustained in the Sadness: Casting On a Snowy Fall Morning

I watch the snow fall on the river. A cold, damp morning. The snow continues to fall as I feel a peculiar, yet familiar sadness.

I often feel that the way out of sadness is to not fight it.  Maybe I can just go with it like drifting my fly down a river. Perhaps I can be sustained by Something that runs deep in my soul; not necessarily sad or happy or anything at all, but just the energy of life.

Why pull myself out and away from that energy and that life?

So, I watch the snow fall. I can’t stop the snow from falling anymore than I can stop the sad feelings. Whole lives and memories fall away like the falling snow and down the currents.

But in the cold, damp, snow, there is Something sustaining that asks my heart to wait. I can keep watching, sustained in a peculiar sadness, waiting for some old heat to burn within my heart and for a large fish to take the fly.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shortening the Distances: Friendships In Fly Fishing

    There is no hiding it; I often feel and speak of the distances in life. Yet there is nothing like fishing with friends on the river to ease the loneliness of life.

    Often people will say to me, "You are too deep," or, "You think too much," which only makes me feel more distance and feel more alone. Those casts do not reach me.

    Yet sometimes, someone will throw me a different kind of cast;  a short, simple and direct kind of cast, similar to the back-hand cast needed to gently place the fly in front of  the large rainbow right in front of us, sipping midges. That kind of a cast speaks to me and shortens the distances. This is not a power cast but it is truthful and direct and on target.

     A little while back, I was complaining to my friend Earl about these distances. He patiently listened and waited; and then said to me, "You know Anthony, you are really not all that deep. I think we are all in the same place."

     Wow! I repeated his words."I am not all that deep. We are all in the same place." I thought about his comment for a while and realized how that cast reached me. Distances were shortened in my heart.

     Throughout the morning, many more casts were made connecting Rainbows, Browns and friends together.