Sunday, October 27, 2019


Dust on the blog. It happens. Life, the quintessential river, flows to and from everything. Even as we get older, we're growing all the time, learning, making mistakes, redressing some of them; others are like little black seeds that will sprout shadows later.

One such seed is here. An accident; I googled "the average steelheader" and saw a date. 2016. My kids went from saplings to young trees in that time. Taller than their mother, they are catching up to me; or are we coming down to them? Probably both.

But it's a gap, no doubt. A little ironic n├ęgligence, disrespect toward a space where I often meditated and cast a mirror back on myself, my adventures, and this passion of mine for everything steelhead. In a way, then, a disregard for that passion. Yes, I am busy - very - but discipline demands an outlet, permits it, encourages it, makes it mandatory.

Three years is a long time. Relationships are forged and lost in that time. Entire human beings come from nothing, and grow big enough to swat lamps off coffee tables. Little kids turn to adolescents. Beer bellies turn to guts. And six - count them - six steelhead seasons have marched past without so much as a wave from my keyboard.

Thankfully, it's s short time too. Three years or thirteen, or thirty. Yes, in the enormity of time, they're worth the same. But also in the power of an enduring passion. Love's not time's fool. The blog is like an old friend sitting here, waiting for me. A warm fire in the hearth; cold beer on the armrest. Soft creaking of La-Z-Boys as we reminisce.

Too much to tell, really. Good days and slow days, as usual. Days alone and days with company. I want good company, so I don't tolerate abuse anymore. Not even from myself. Mistakes are opportunities to learn, not reasons to get frustrated or angry with others or oneself. Mistakes are often the key to new doors. Where fishing is concerned, and indeed life in general, these should never be discarded!

Did I choose the wrong morning to spend the lone hour I had to fish, this week? Yes - but what else is here, now? Dishpans in the shallow water will hold hungry trout when the flows rise later; crowded beaches tell me where I can save time, too. Visit elsewhere. What is the wind saying? How is the Lake answering? I can watch, and reflect, and learn from this wide open book of Nature that is always unfolding its cryptic, deeply rewarding lessons.

And now I can't shake this giddiness. The end of October is here. Christmas for steelheaders. Bright, brand new, untarnished silver electric slabs of living lightning; leaping, swirling, shredding through rivers and white surf foam, as they compel strained fishing line to sing against the wind.The line will point east, but the fish will already have gone west; high performance, scintillating freshwater Ferraris of the piscatorial world. Strike when the Chrome iron is hot: the time is now!

Ah well...

Reality check: I don't know how many opportunities I'll have. The usual, I suppose. An hour here, two hours there; perchance a day, a whole day - but other forces than Nature will move that calendar and shape the dates. So who knows what the future holds. Regardless, for the next month or so, it's time... To quote the great William Yeats, from "A Dialogue of Self and Soul" :

I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.


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