People need to fish more. This I believe, is the problem with society. Not enough people spend the time to mull things over in their heads while completely alone along a river. Of course you are never alone while on a river, the river has its own personality and soul, every gurgle and splash is the story of thousands of years of a continual cycle. A cycle that has caused the erosion of the land, creating the river you sit next too. As you imagine all of this happening around you, try to imagine the things that live within the river below your feet. Hold up wait a minute: we are getting too deep. But you know what I mean, people need to fish more. Release some stress, focus pent-up, negative energy towards something productive: like skipping work and catching small trout with insect imitations on bamboo fly rods, then letting the little SOB back into the eddy behind the rock so it can hang out with its other trout friends; or maybe chub friends, sucker friends even? We shall never know! All I can say is I have known more people who have “saved” themselves by trout fishing every day for a year or so; living out of their trucks, growing big beards and pooping in the woods. It truly is cleansing. I have participated in the trout bumming aspect, but not because I felt I needed saving. It was mostly to reinforce ideas about fishing I had conceived while doing my time sitting in a classroom. How trout fishing was supposed to be, ideals that still haunt me to this day.
Most of my preconceived notions have been abandoned, thank God. I couldn’t handle fly fishing if I had to have everything be perfect. If one thing is true in both life and fly fishing: nothing is ever going to be perfect but it can come damn close. Unfortunately, you fail to realize when that is going on until it is too late. Though we may realize how sweet it is to wake and go trout fishing every day, all day, with no sensible reason to ever leave the river valley. Sure you may need to get some gas or a sandwich from time to time, but other than that there just can not be any good reason to leave the river. Well, maybe to have a beer or two and frighten patrons of the local bar; this always proves a good time.
Whether near or far, short or long, take a trip. Nothing stressful like permit fishing, but don’t make it too easy on yourself. A trip like this is meant to challenge you, put you outside of the proverbial box. Instead of shaving, showering, running off to get a bagel and coffee; try waking up in a sleeping bag laid in the dirt next to your car, wander down to the river for a bath and smoke. After this the next obvious step is to fire up the camp stove and cook those elk steaks you traded two brook trout for with that other dude living in his truck across the campsite. As the steak is cooking, you pull an orange out of a bag containing more oranges and slowly peel it. Looking around you realize, this is the way it all is supposed to be.
By Rob Lepczyk