Steelhead Worship (Kneeling on the Gravel…Rain in the Face…Lovelorn)

“Talked to an old timer who said he’s been fishing the river since 1972. Of course there were alot more fish then but from the sounds of it he stills gets them every once in a while, at least enough to keep him coming back. And that’s just it I guess. The rivers keep us coming back despite all the adversity, shitty news, declining runs and blatant mismanagement. We come back for the river itself, the river which gives life not only to the salmon and trout but to us. The rivers we come to know and love flow through us, the fleeting mist of the february morning, the tumbling rush of the rapid, familiar smells that linger long after we’ve gone back to the mundane day to day lives. The river’s life flows through me, leaves me energized and curious wondering whether that little bucket I found yesterday will fish at higher water, or if we are living at the end of the line for steelhead angling. This is life for many of us.”  (Apocalypse Steelhead)

“….for us, this was and continues to be about the characters; the ones of our dirtball friends, the ones of the rivers we endeavor to understand and those genetically unique fish who ascend these rivers on their own terms. it’s a lifestyle you live in capacities, with a respect for timing’s necessity. a thing that’ll take a guy and drive him toward the most difficult means of pursuit, then one of foolish moral highground, then slap him silly, tell him to get over himself and drive him to gear just because he can’t help but knowing what’s down there. it’s about relationships with the river, friends and and society in general, trying to maintain a balance when you just wanna say fuck all and spin outta control into some mess that’ll only leave you wishing for something else. it’s about the pain of waiting through a perfectly good summer for the cold, wet, solitary misery of January, completely exiting society in march and april and then knowing what the end of May’s always gonna bring…” (Burned Up Bacon…the Best..Voluntary Beatdown)


One contemplates and gets by. The other burned his bacon and retreated to just be. This whole genre of crisp, sometimes arrogant or angry writing provides a purposely opaque vision of the smooth operators, but not of what they’ve glimpsed. The written word. Less visual, but what images they paint with their words. If you have been there in your life, you get it, if only in flashbacks. If you have never been there, you hopefully keep taking those tentative steps toward those verbal images. It’s all theoretical and borrowed until you have partaken.

3 Responses to “Steelhead Worship (Kneeling on the Gravel…Rain in the Face…Lovelorn)”

  1. 1 Tak
    January 11, 2010 at 07:52

    I like to stress myself, but the thought of it as I age seems a little foolish. Invigorating, but foolish.


    • 2 SwittersB
      January 11, 2010 at 08:17

      Yes, I totally understand. My body is so banged up now that I am facing the repercussions of years of abuse from falls, car accidents, lifting etc. I will say this, I am embracing spey rods not because of the hype but rather the ease. Less wading deep. Gentle casts that match distances I struggle with now with a single handed rod. I figure I have a decreasing window to be out there and weather the demands. I am going to try to enjoy the remaining opportunities in ways that work around a deteriorating lower back, fused right wrist, somewhat repaired left shoulder, declining interest in freezing my ass off…. Join me in getting a little invigoration while not foolishly risking our neck. Thanks for visiting


  2. 3 WishinFishin
    January 11, 2010 at 07:36

    You are right! Unless you have done it, you can only dream and contemplate. If you have done it, it is a memories relived to the pleasure of the moment. Good article.


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