Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Thoughts of a Fly Fisher
Fishing is cruel. It's also mysterious. Even the small, fragile and sometimes ridiculously transparent world of a trout in a stream has something in it of the leviathans lurking in the dark ocean. Creatures living in these tiny rivulets of water amidst all this land. Stranded as if on another planet so far from, and at least here in the southwest, with no way to get back to their mothership ocean. It's cruel to pull them up to the air, however briefly. The pain of the hook I've felt in all my fingers many times over, probably not the same as in the lip.Somehow it seems more cruel just to terrify them and, let them go, rather than kill them and eat them. I can't deny the cruelty,yet I can't deny the compelling hold fishing has over me. Perhaps it's an instinct, a link to a primitive self: stalking one's prey, wandering the forest. Or perhaps that's some kind of rationalization. I don't think I'll stop anytime soon.Somehow not denying what seems to be obvious, clears my mind.Yet in those moments,when a release doesn't go 100% the way it should, or there's a foul hooking, or swallowed fly- the strange cruelty of what I'm doing surfaces.But it's usually quickly forgotten in the adrenaline mainline of the next fish tightening the leader.Then I redouble my resolve for good releases off short plays. I move on to the next mystery.