Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Bare Essentials
It's easy for guides and other entrepreneurs involved with fly fishing to take things a little too far in self promotion. In reality, one must be compelled to in order to survive and make a name for themselves. It is a business after all. It me took me a long time to figure this out yet still be humble and executed in a proper way that carries class and dignity. It amazes me how the public can see right through the smoke and mirrors of some, and the golden rays of integrity of a chosen few. The straight and narrow path is an easy one for me to follow and there is no turning back now.
When it's time for me to escape the rigors of commerce I resort to what I call "The Bare Essentials", which entails a small river, complete solitude and the quest to dance with the wild trout. What does one need to reach such a simple platform of pureness? For some it could be less than what I chose today, which was a hat, polarized glasses, and a fly rod with a hopper pattern. I guess I could have really taken it too far and reached the "ultra natural" by not wearing clothing, and just used the branch of a willow with a tapered leader tied to the end of it. Maybe next time. When I feel like the last man on earth with this overwhelming grand cathedral of wilderness wrapped around me, only then do I consider my sojourn to be complete.
No fishing vest loaded for bear or any other tackle. If I get a wind knot, break my only fly off, or get it hung up in a tree my day of making presentations is done. This is good for an angler to experience, it makes you focus on every cast and detail; failure is not an option. No $80 dollar fishing shirt, or fancy wading boots. When when was the last time you felt the cold slick granite under your bare feet only to step again onto a hot black rock that's been baking in the sun? To feel the many different textures of Mother Earth below your calloused feet is getting back to basics, getting back to your roots. With all the fancy high priced footwear out there, do people even have callouses now? Big america, fast food, and our creature comforts has made us as soft as hand soap.
When you hold a wild rainbow in your hand for those few precious seconds before releasing it back into the water there is that moment of calmness and serenity. White tipped orange fins dance in the mountain breeze, droplets of cold clear water fall ever so slowly into the river below you forming mesmerizing dimples, and those vivid colors and black spots become ingrained into your memory bank for you to savor for years. The sound of the river is louder now and if you listen closely you can hear the music and its beat. Do you hear it?