Jul 06 2012

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On the Stream

Posted at 6:07 am under Blog Post

Every once in a while, I get the urge to walk a mountain stream. I usually take a fly rod with me, hoping to get into a little trout action, but that’s not what it’s all about. I walk the stream to clear my head, to purge the negative energy from my system. Clear running water is good for that.

My tightly wound nerves start to unravel the moment I step into the woods and hear the rush of water nearby. By the time I’ve finished kneeling on the muddy bank and tying on a fly, I’m in a groove. The first cast separates my cluttered day-to-day life back in the developed places from the streamside here-and-now. From that point on, I’m home free.

After a few casts, I scramble over moss-covered rocks to the next promising hole. When large boulders or downed trees crop up, I step back into the woods, tramping through bracken, ferns and other understory vegetation. I often find a beautiful wildflower or some other delight along the way. My dog Matika often finds something interesting to sniff. Yeah, we’re both easily distracted.

Rock, forest and running water. Shadow and light. Keeping it simple. My tiny fly floats through the emerald pools, following the riffles, and I am ready to respond to the slightest splash. Sometimes it comes, most of the time it does not. The sights, sounds and smells of the mountain stream intoxicate me all the same.

A couple hours of stream walking and I’m ready to just sit and look around. That’s when I know I’m done fishing. I sit until I lose track of time. Then I tramp through the woods, daydreaming all the way back to the car. My boots and pants are sopping wet but I don’t care. The sun breaks through the forest. A thrush or other familiar songbird calls in the distance. I smile absently. I am in my element, and it feels good to be alive.


One response so far

One Response to “On the Stream”

  1. Andrewon 07 Jul 2012 at 12:00 pm 1

    Walt, it seems that from roughly 1,500 miles apart we are leading semi-parallel lives. The writing and blogging, yes. But just two days ago I took my own rod and lures to the nearby river (almost a slowly-moving swamp) at the crack of dawn to fish for largemouth bass. Didn’t catch a thing, but did succeed in coming closer to merging with wild nature. By the time I returned to my vehicle, I was having difficulty finding a thought worthy of holding on to. I’m sure you experience the same.
    Cheers. And do keep the posts coming.