I’ve had many people question me about why I’m going fishing for a year… “wow – so ambitious”, “never even knew you fished”, “how long have you been fishing?” “You’re going to fish in the winter?”
I’m sure most of it is genuine curiosity, but in many cases there is a confused look as to why I am doing this without having been an angler for 25 years. A long track record with the sport seems to justify such a trip. In fact taking this step into the unknown is what makes this so appealing to me. I’m going to learn and explore. Am I sometimes jealous that I’ve missed out on 25 years of its pleasures? Perhaps, but the reality is I may still be able to boast before I die that “I’ve been fishing for 25 years.”
Besides just the pure and simple adventure, I had an epiphany a few months back when I read Michael Brown’s book, The Presence Process – thanks to my friend and teacher, Andrea Silver. Brown explains his version of the familiar concepts of “living in the present” and “mindfulness.” The lightbulb went on for me when I realized that I loved fishing precisely because it totally allows me to stay in the moment. I’m not thinking about anything except my surroundings – the bugs on the water, the eagles in the sky, the movement and sound of the water. I don’t think I’ve ever found that same kind of peace anywhere. So write to me and let me where you have found that peace – that ability to clear your mind of all but the present moment. If you haven’t ever experienced that, I would recommend you give fly fishing a try.