Revive - A Quarterly Fly Fishing Journal - Page 47

Even 10 years later I can feel my feet in my sandals wrapped around that rock, holding my weight as I cast, strip, set the hook, play the fish in, release. Cast, strip, hook, play, release. Water dripped off my line as I reeled in after my last catch and I laughed out loud to myself; I was finally catching trout on a fly. I was finally fly fishing. All it took was ten miles, a few thousand feet in elevation, and a wild lake that still burns in my mind.

The twilight came over the peaks as the sun set behind my mind. With rod in hand, I stood on a lone rock, watching the water settle under the moonlight. I felt like a fly fisherman. I flipped on my headlamp and headed back to make camp. I added some hot water to a pouch and had a quick dinner before I nestled into my sleeping bag between the peaks, lulling me to a deep sleep. Before heading home the next morning, I flicked my bugger out a few times and gently released a few more cutthroats. I don’t really remember walking the 10 miles back out to the car; my mind was still on that lake and those fish.

Every fisherman needs water like this at some point; a place where they can chuck what they know, like a black wooly bugger, and catch trout after trout (or even just a few). It’s good for the confidence and on days in the future where they are struggling to catch anything, they can venture into the backcountry of their minds and relive that moment. We need that body of water that lets us catch fish and the backcountry that whispers sweet nothings of confidence to us. We need that water that will rush through our heads and clear out all the built up muck like a spring-time deluge. We need it to clear our head and lift our lines.