Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Fishing Report: A Search for Fish, After All

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Some days you feel the earth tilting ever farther over on its axis, and your eyes tilt with it until the hard monochromatic edges of winter slip out of your peripheral vision and you suddenly see the infinite lightness that is Spring.
And you get a little giddy.
You step into the water, and it looks like the same place you've been before, but you know you can't step into the same river twice, or the same moment twice for that matter. So you just feel good to be in this river in this moment.
And you let it go at that.
And every time you step into the water on a new day your hopes are as high and fresh as the Spring sky, and they're all riding on that one beautiful, magical fly you just tied on your line.
Even if you get beat down, you aren't so far down to fail to gaze with fascination into the green depths of the ever new river, and wonder where the hell the fish are in there. And even if you get beat down some more you aren't so far down to fail to notice the fragile caddis flies, twice as thick as two days ago, and twice as sparse as two days from now, and you think ahead to the next time even while up to your ass in this time.
After awhile you just go somewhere you've never been before, clean across the river on that shifting gravel bar. The fish aren't there, but you are, and you look back and think maybe after all you walked on water to get there.
Then you wade, loud and fast, having let go of unreasonable expectations and embraced reasonable hopes, all the way back to where you started and watch the sunset splash the river with the colors of trout.
You fish and fish, rejoicing at that one little trouty bump, and then contracting like a muscle cramp when the line stops dead and the rod jumps in your hand. And then everything just freezes for an eternity, until you finally realize waterlogged branches aren't going to run and leap and fight.
But you like the picture of you frozen there in full fight mode.
Finally you stay too long and happily come to realize it's not out of desperation but because you don't want it to end, and you wonder how many rivers you've stepped in so far.
And you hike home over the hill in the dark, holding a light in your hand, the center of a tiny blur of light blinking on the dark face of Earth. You feel like Diogenes of old, and you muse that your search for fish is after all a search for Truth.
Then you realize; no, it's a search for fish.

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