Wednesday, October 04, 2006


While Laura is out getting supplies, I've finished bathing and feeding the twins , and I've put them to bed. Since they are now both counting little sheep, and I've finished a number of my appointed chores (including "brownie point" chores), I've taken time to check out blogs by Joe A. & SD.

Their entries for today, respectively entitled "Why Steelhead?" and "A lull...", are both about the same thing: the odd behaviour of those who chase after a fish (i.e. steelhead) that is more easily catchable during cold-weather periods.

Joe is very poetic and philosophical in his approach, whereas SD represents the physical example: discussing centrepins and planning to go out, after a rain, while recovering from a pneumonia.

When SD talks about going out "pneumonia notwithstanding" he asks why it is that he would do such an apparently crazy thing. But I don't see it as crazy or abnormal at all; in fact Joe gives him an answer of sorts, correctly pointing out the exhilirating unpredictability of the fish and the fishery - which seems like a good reason to me. Because if you really want to catch steelhead, you will seek them and you will do so in the short window of time that is alotted. A "perfect" window is so rare, that given only the capability to stand, not one of us will blame any steelheader for being brave, and driven. One day there is a throng of them, the next they are gone like "La belle Dame sans Merci" in the famous poem. And who knows when that day has truly come, without going out and testing the waters ourselves? We are not omniscient...

So, what can I add? What words of mine can equally describe, for anyone who does not seek this fantastic creature, why we do it or what it's like? I don't know. I have a bunch of poems on the subject, that I've written myself, but I won't bore anybody with any of them here.

But whatever "steelheading" is for anyone else; for me, I guess it's all of these things at once: art, discipline, meditation, prayer and earnest battle. Oh, and fraternity (not excluding any "she," who are rare and exceptional), which includes the odd beer.

I'm thinking about my next trip now, and where it might be, and if I will go alone or with anyone else, and how many, and how beautiful the fish I/we will catch... where's the button on Time? You know... the fast-forward...?

Oh, never mind!

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