Posts Tagged ‘Fishing
There is something magical about the return of sea run fish to their native streams. In particular, Salmon provide this powerful drama of returning from the ocean, pushing way upriver, even into small tributaries. Then, hopefully they pair and spawn. Either way, once they hit fresh water a change in life commences. They are destined to die within weeks of their first taste of sweet water.
I, for one, mentally glorify this whole arrival. I chase their progress, fish for them, watch them, marvel at them, rarely kill them. But, later the realities of the whole process are evident. Fish lay dead in the shallows. Others propel themselves into a final resting place and die. They are done, after traveling hundreds if not a thousand miles. They live two to six years in the ocean and then return to reproduce and start the whole cycle over again.
Their deaths are curious in that it is evident they add nutrients to the watershed. But equally interesting is that they are mostly composed of ocean bred nutrients, which is transported often far from the ocean into a forested watershed. All interesting and fascinating in the beginning, middle and then the end. ‘It’s a matter of life and death…’
Winter Preparations: Mind numbing cold…second guessing your pursuit. Wearing layers to the max and still the fingers feel as if a hammer has smacked them and the toes are getting numb. All the personal drive and desire to hook a Steelhead in the cold flows is seriously challenged by nature’s weather offerings. Beginner or seasoned, are you prepared? Change of clothing? Notifications made of where you will be? Emergency plan and communications if you get injured? Have you studied up a bit on hypothermia and recognize the early warning signs?
Hiking, photography, skiing, snow shoeing, camping, fishing in the Winter, even if in close proximity to your rig, require some forethought to what if’s and the consequences of your decisions. Gear, checklist, notifications where you will be, weather reports, change of clothing, full tank….Semper Paratus!
“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.” Otto von Bismarck
I understand that a portion of the visitors to SwittersB cannot abide by anything that seemingly disrupts the daily activities of any animal upon this planet. So you should probably enjoy this post for the photography (maybe) and then turn away. Not that I am a constant advocate of killing fish (or any other animal) but I am an advocate for the chase, the encounter, the parting of contact with a sense of satisfaction. I do all this for me.
Yes, I selfishly do it of for me while trying to leave as little impact as possible upon the prey…the magnificent trout, salmon or steelhead trout. Some would argue this is inhumane (PETA types) to hook a fish and stress it while deriving pleasure. Others, would argue that if you do hook a fish it is only humane to kill it and more preferable than playing the fish and then releasing it stressed, vulnerable and nothing but an object for my satisfaction.
I am imbued with the ‘need’, the instincts to chase beautiful fish, and not so beautiful fish, with a fly rod using creations I concocted. This requires me to study nature, understand the fish, the environment of the fish, feeding habits, its predacious ways and combine all that to seduce/provoke the fish into taking my offering. I make no apologies for that.
I believe few people could not be intrigued, if put into the right circumstances, to appreciate the search, the quest, the ‘moment’ when they connect with a fish, big or small, and realize they are connecting with something more primal. Urban living, supermarkets, sedentary lives, numbed instincts combine to separate up from any sense of nature beyond pretty sunrises, sunsets, trees and the expanses of waters.
SwittersB & Exploring was SwittersB & Fly Fishing for a good many years. All those outdoor encounters, seeking beautiful fish, only highlight the always magnificent surroundings it all takes place in. Visually, I share it all as best I can. Intellectually once in awhile.
the secret spot, upstream. A deeper pool, with a canopy of over hanging branches making casting/presentation difficult. The water races down from above stream into the pool and slows. I stand upon a narrow ledge, almost ready to vanish to rising waters. I work the water, dredging as best I can. The rod is darn near unmanageable to maneuver with all the over hanging branches snagging the tip, the line. I yield to the obstacles. Nature combines to thwart this man, in this remote spot. I turn to depart and there on the alder tree’s bark, someone has carved in ‘Fish’. Yes, probably quite true. Homage to a sanctuary I could not penetrate this day.