Ask yourself this: When you last went fishing, did you take your time as you walked to the stream? Did you see deer, raccoon, mink, or bear tracks as you moved through the willows? Did you smell the watercress or mint along the stream, or better yet, did you taste it? Did you take time to look at the piles of driftwood stacked by high water? As you waded out on the streambed, did you see the mosaic of color? Did you look for a heart stone shaped by the Master’s hand for your sweet lover? Did you hear the wind, the rustle and gentle flow? Did you dip your hand in the water and let it cool your neck and face? Did you sit on the bank beneath a shaded tree? Did you look at the water to see clues? When you saw an osprey or heron, did you watch them fish? Did you enjoy the fish that hovered beneath your fly as much, or more, than the one who ate it? Did you leave your Blackberry at home? Did you look at the textures and folds of the water? Did you take a break? When you landed a fish, did you look at its markings? Did you see the perfect violet rings on the brown, or the pinkish hue on the gill plates of the rainbow? Are you still five years old every time a fish rises to your fly? Do you love the way water wraps around you, as you stand mid-stream? What do you talk about with your fishing companions? Do you appreciate a well-tied fly? Do you like the way a bamboo rod loads and throws? Can you still remember at least one fish for every year you have fished? Do you have dreams with tailing bones and permit, the slash of a rooster’s comb? Can you skip a stone? Do you tinker with your gear and flies just for the sake of tinkering with your gear and flies? Do you share all that you have learned? When you are done fishing, do you sometimes lie in the grass and watch the clouds? If so, I look forward to fishing with you someday.
Live from the World Headquarters
Kea C. Hause esq.