February 18, 2010

2 Hours

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean

It is a Sunday. Mid-February. The river continues to amaze me. The lack of snowfall dictates flows that are ridiculously low for this time of year, while temperatures for day and night stay consistently above freezing. I frequent the river quite often now, and in the past several days have been witness to an amazing sight.
Big, fat, dark, Blue-winged Olives. A good solid size sixteen. Never before have I in the winter months seen them so big and hatching in such numbers.
My son and his wife had decided they would cross the mountains to spend Valentine's Day weekend with his grandma. In a conversation with him a few days before their departure, I impulsively told him to 'bring his rod', not expecting to be pleasantly surprised by his response, which went something like, " I sure will...", I don't remember the rest of the conversation. See, I was too excited. All I knew was that my son and I were going to be fishing together again.
So, we went about figuring out a good time to go on Sunday, Valentine's Day, that wouldn't interfere with their plans for the weekend. That meant timing was going to be essential in being at the right place at the right time. I knew that the Olive hatch was going to bring fish up, and I knew we'd have maybe a couple of hours to work with at the very most, and I wanted that time to be as special for him as it already was for me.
When the weather, the temperatures, and the river all work together, no matter what time of the year it is, good things happen. And, given these somewhat static conditions, every day it happens at just about the same time. I knew this from years of experience, underlined by my visits earlier in the week.**********************************************
My son, even without having much time at all to fish consistently, continues to develop his senses. He is shrewd, and intuitive. The years have added patience to his arsenal. I think he's beginning to grasp the more intangible aspects of what it is that we have in common. As I fish, I also observe. I see the calm in him as he casts. I can sense his concentrated energy. His focus. He is totally absorbed in the present tense of the moment, watching his fly drift freely... I see a sudden disturbance in the water. Aaron lifts his rod, line tight, and then the fish is gone, with his fly...
I caught no fish on this day. Had no chances to tighten on a fish. Sometimes that can be quite frustrating. Today, it didn't matter, because I felt something better, stronger...
I felt it right in the bottom of my heart. Those of you who have sons, or daughters, have spent time with them, have given them access to your heartfelt passion, have loved them, guided them, felt their frustrations, experienced with them their losses, and humblings, as well as the joys and triumphs , know what that feels like. It's the most beautiful feeling, the essence of being, I will ever feel. And, it is perpetually renewed anywhere, anytime that connection is further defined.
I have given my son the gift of fishing with flies, and he has in turn given me the gift of his involvement in the passion I hold so dearly.

1 comment:

  1. Christ, I wish I could read just one of your blog posts without tearing up. I love fishing with you, dad. And I think other people see how much I love it and think that I just love fly-fishing that much all on its own. But the fact is, I DO love the fly-fishing, but I can't say I would enjoy it even half as much if I wasn't standing 50 yards upstream from you while I was doing it.