With whom do I fish and why?
Sometimes I ask myself this question and try to answer? I think when I fish, I am often seeking connection to more than the fish I cast upon. Among other things, I seek connection with a fellow angler.
Of course sometimes it nothing more than wanting to share the river, its fish, and the whole experience with another soul. To share a beautiful place with another person allows me to not feel so isolated. Therefore, I seek someone to whom I can fish and enjoy an outing together.
It can also just be fun to tease someone for not being able to catch a fish. Or sometimes it is I who cannot hook up, like an awkward teenager casting to the girls at school and there is nothing but rejection. Together, with others, it is easier to laugh at being rejected. And as many of us know who fish the South Platte, rejection comes often. So we learn to laugh at one another and ourselves.
Yet, sometimes it is “Something” more. For me, it can be about sharing with another the struggle of life. What struggle someone might ask? What are you talking about?
Well, that is a difficult question to answer. I think many of us, “just know” what I am talking about whether we admit it or not. However, I don’t believe I am talking about the glorious, joyful, blessed life of being a Christian and fishing in God’s creation as some profess. No, this is Something deeper and darker like the deep pool we fish but never see the bottom and we can never seem to entice the large, melancholy fish laying on the bottom.
My friends and many people I meet on the river are surprised to hear me speak of melancholy and a struggle in life. “Struggle” they say; “Do you know you have it made? Do you know how lucky you are? Do you know you are living the dream?”
“Yes” I reply. “I know, but I still struggle.”
We make another thousand casts.
And sometimes, with a peculiar joy in our hearts, we connect, and the melancholy fish rises to meet us.
It is with such people who know Something of both melancholy and joy who I enjoy fishing with the most and connect at the deepest level of struggle, even trying to catch the large rainbow on the bottom of a deep pool and trying to believe.