"How irreparably changed the world becomes when the loves of one's life are dead."
Jim Harrison, The Road Home
I have, over the years, given all the runs and slots, notches, and pools, names. Behind me in this picture is indeed the cemetery where my father and and my uncle's ashes are interred. But I have been coming here for much longer than they have been here. In fact, as I drive in, I do not stop to visit their headstones. Not that I do not respect my dad and his brother. Far from that, it's just that I think I'm doing them more justice if I am close by, and doing what it is I was put here on this earth to do. Besides that, the eloquence of allowing those who are passed the ability to understand and appreciate that which is the joy of our existences is not lost on me.
So I have come here, in the late summer, before the river runs high with the flow-out from the lake, to swing the soft hackle.
For 12 years I have been coming here. For the first several, I did not even touch a fish. I hadn't the faintest clue as to how to fish this area. All I knew was the feeling I got as I watched the currents funnel through the rocky chutes into the darker water downstream. As frustrating as it was, then, the years were all the while flowing through me; experience gouging, shaping and clarifying that which had been formerly hidden. What still amazes me is the sheer clarity now, and how invisible it stayed until such time as I realized that indeed I had acquired a lot of knowledge through investigation, albeit unconsciously, and quite haphazardly. I will most certainly elaborate on this in future writings, as it is so humbling to be taught so much about life while pursuing that which brings such joy.