Thoughts,Songs,Writings,Rants,Encouragements, and Life

Friday, February 02, 2007

fiction continued

What seemed to be a wonderful idea of sleeping under the stars quickly receded as the illuminating rays of the sun began to penetrate the lids of my eyes and began to burn tiny holes into each of my precious blue iris's. I sat up slowly, back aching as if I were perhaps a retired coal miner from the Midwest region. I am twenty-three, I should not be feeling like this.

Scanning the immediate horizon, I found my companions still waging war with the conscious and unconscious sides of their imaginations. I glanced at my eight and a half foot fly rod, the pains of this worlds skin (my body) vanished into the mornings cool and very welcome mist.

Assembling the two piece rod and reel in a record amount of time, the amateur that I am, the task was complete in less than two minutes. I began dressing the a dry fly as quickly as my stubby, short, numb, and senseless fingers would permit me. Holding my rod in my left hand, with my right hand I grabbed my very expensive and much appreciated hat and converse all-stars. I stepped bare footed into the souls of the most comfortably worn in shoes in the world and half skipped, half ran to a place I had spied the day before. A place where I knew some unsuspecting salmon would find his match in an unsuspectable enemy known as a dry fly.

The location was a few steps upstream. I had to be careful however not to announce my presence to the waiting water dwellers who was coming. As a kid learning my fathers beloved sport and past time, I used to get in trouble for sloshing around in the lakes and streams we frequently explored. I was also told to not sing, hum, mumble, talk, or even think really. “You will scare the fish away, and thats no fun for the both of us.”

Even then my father was teaching my to get outside of my world and experience the world around my that I seldom visited. It wasn't that I was so selfish to only think of myself and my own well being. It was more the fact that fishing was an adventure for me. I enjoyed every minute of it. Although I usually could not sit in one specific pocket for more than ten minuscule minutes. I do not have ADD or ADHD or even my knew version of the two Selective Attention Deficit Disorder. I was a dreamer and was in another world completely. My father was just reminding me that their were other worlds as well, co-existing right beside me. I have to thank my father for ushering my into the wide world of fly fishing. For without him, I would never had been able to experience anything as wonderfully awesome as the first moment the fish strikes and you tug the line gently and make the fish furious and cause him to panic as you hook his upper lip and penetrate his fishy ego to prove that really he is not as invincible as he imagined. The truth is, in those moments, you do NOT catch the fish, he is the one catching you! From that moment on, you are captured and held hostage to the world of fly fishing. You are addicted to every movement and second that leads to the next catch of you and of the fish itself. Good thing I only catch and release, because if I did not, this catching and hooking could cause some serious damage to my soul itself and how everything seems to be right with the world when the fish is gently placed back into the mass of water and frantically swims away to warn the others of the intruder in their midst.

At this time however, I was not willing to let them know an intruder was in fact in their midst. So I crouched low, hovered a little, holding fly rod behind me as I traveled upstream to my desired location. The Duschutes is one of the colder rivers to run in the state of Oregon. My father wears waders and boots. I however choose to wear my beloved All-Stars and feel the freezing water invade every crevice upon my feet. I love the feeling of being invaded and ambushed by rushing water.

There is nothing in this world like the freedom of frolicking with and orchestrating the dance of catching a playful freshwater salmon while being in tune with the Creator of the Universe I so casually and ignorantly walk through. I am no tree hugger. I am no environmentalist geek. The earths core will do what it does. I am no Oscar nominated religion freak. Dogs will pee on trees. Fish will swim to the sea. Man will ultimately be the cause of his own death. I will catch and release, but the few that cannot be let go of, because of the story or for the body's need for nourishment. I am one who enjoys the Wonder of this world. I am a fumbling nincompoop trying to figure out the origin and reason for each beat of my heart and why it feels so lonesome when I am not enjoying this world as God created it to be enjoyed. I am captured by the hooks of this beautiful and yet so wretched world.

I have reached the section of the river that I have longed to mine fish from with my fly rod. It is a simple area; rocks on the other side of the flowing river, a soft but swift current, a few old tree stumps, and a bit of shade from the morning sun. I am in the pocket, at least I hope I have found a good pocket. Hunched low to the rivers fringe, I begin stroking my paintbrush back and forth across this specific territory of untouched liquid of joy.

The rod and I are one. The strokes are light, but precise. Ten o'clock and two o'clock respectively. This is how my wrists flick back and forth, back and forth. Careful not to snap the line or let the fly dabble the water during any of this motion. I have reached a point where I no longer tangle my fish noosing lasso in trees or when the line is eventually let loose to flow the river.

A breeze hits my neck and pricks my skin to the effect of bubble wrap in a mail order package, I am that package. Trees sway and dance, I am hearing their aged voices, almost whispering their wisdom of breezes and fly fishers past. Birds let loose their songs as only birds can do. The water breaking at my shins is cool, rushing somewhere, like a middle aged woman on a brisk walk, hands swinging from side to side. I am seeing things as one can only do when you are in the grasp of the pocket itself. Creation is singing and I am hearing the simple melody rise not just as it touches and pleases my ears, but as it is penetrating my soul.

One last flick and the fly is afloat and meandering along side the rock ledge I just cast it near. The river begins to pull. Pull at the fly. Pull at the line. Pull. Pull. Pulling...I am held captive in the rivers own time and energy. The pulling continues. My heart is in this completely. I can no longer distinguish between rod, fly, river, sky, sun, fish, moon, and most of all, ME! I awake in the trance to the next level of intricate dance moves. A subtle pull on the line lets me know someone is creeping into my world.

The tail of a beauty salmon bursts through the waters surface, spraying river drops in my direction. Does he know I even exist? Will he take the bait? A twist of his tail and he is gone. He is playing the fly. Playing me really. He really can't be interested in this fly. Perhaps I should move on? The SADD sinking in. I am ready to cut my loss, but I have spoken to soon. The tail snaps again. I bring the line in a few inches, making sure to keep it loose and help keep the illusion alive.

Silence.

Wonder.

Amusement.

The rush a poker player gets the moment he knows he has won the hand with the worst bluff of his life!

Damn! Missed my chance. I have failed to set the hook again. I have yet to master this portion of the fly fishers game. Again I wait. Should I stay or should I go? Wait! Maybe just one more try. I begin to reel my line in a bit more. The hope of catching this sucker still sweet in my mind. I am almost not present in my act of fishing when the salmon attacks the fly with all he has got. The match has begun! Woo hoo! I can not contain my excitement. Darwin's game of survival has begun.

I get as low to the ground and waters edge as I can. Careful not to loosen my grip on the rod. Careful not to take my eye from the fish at the end of my line. I lend him a few feet of line. Let him have a bit of freedom. Trick him into thinking their might be a small chance of escape.

In my mind the only thought is: can I land this sucker in the next thirty seconds or the next fifteen minutes. As usual when I give myself options, another one so easily appears. As it turns out it is the forty second audible option.


Thirteen inches pulsing with life now wriggle in my hands. I am caught in this hopelessness of fishing. Alas, catch and release is my thank you for the mornings welcome and longed for worship session.

My newfound friend and I chat a for a few seconds.

“You know flint, (he is flint gray) this would be a whole lot easier for you and me, if you would stop flopping around like a two year old in the bathtub and just let me remove this fly from your lips.”

“Gurggle burp uuughghhh gurggle!”

“Okay if that is how you want to play this game!”

I give him a terse flick on the head. He begins to see it my way. He remains motionless for a while. I quickly remove the hook from his mouth and gently lower him to the waters edge, where his game of playing dead is done and his freedom is again in his sights. I will probably never see him again. I rather liked him. One of the better fighters I have had a chance to do a few rounds with.

I prepare to do the waltz another time, but when my near sighted eyes scan the horizon for the next possible fly resting place, I behold the source of terror and fear of many a fly fisher like myself on the Deschutes...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Erin said...

Thankyou for FINALLY continuing the saga! I find it amusing that you did this while in India though . .

8:48 AM

 
Blogger Benjamin said...

Did it on the plane ride over. Had it rolling around my brain for a while, finally let it all out.

6:02 PM

 
Anonymous Erin said...

I guess you did have a LITTLE time to think about it on the plane ride . . . .

2:40 PM

 

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