Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal (Volume 1. Issue 4. Spring 2014) - Page 67

Things that I remember vividly but not specifically coalesced with memories that are temporally specific but structurally vague and they followed me as I walked up that stream. My boots sloshed through the water as the church bells rang and I remembered the pews while a bottle half-full of a delicate mixture sloshed in the pack I carried around my waist. And all of these things were together and shouldn’t have been and we kept walking.

I don’t know if it is because I am southern or because I am stupid or some awkward and perfect entanglement of the two but 60/40 didn’t, and still doesn’t, suit me. So I deconstructed something that was considered delicate and rebuilt it over multiple iterations and found that while the bourbon was harsh and sour, it was familiar. And that vermouth is something I will never understand. This isn’t important or relevant, but it’s worth noting that what was 60/40 gradually progressed toward something more in the spirit of 70/30.

I fished that day with the burn of bourbon in my throat and the melody of an old hymn in my ears. It felt like every other attempt at steelheading I had encountered; I hadn’t caught anything. The drifts and the mends and the water became nearly monotonous, running together, nothing being distinguishable from what preceded or came after it. More hymns were cycled through by the bells and the bottle in my pack seemed to have obtained a leak. The water and mends and drifts and casts all ran together and my mind struggled to sort them or mark them as separate until something unique happened.