While waiting to be seated at a local restaurant, I
thumbed through a little book Fishback Hill
by an author from this area. The forward contained the
"I often consider the small delights we enjoy in this life
on earth to be the most valuable. Plagued with all manner
of daily disasters, distresses and trials, humankind longs
for respite and refreshment. Sadly, our therapists,
healthcare conglomerates and spas-retreats are reaping
financial reward from many who have yet to realize there
is a simple "balm" to ease the pain of this life, rejuvenate
the soul, restore hope.
An interesting thought. It sparked some thoughts of my own.
Not too many years ago, as I wandered unsuccessfully from
one purveyor of peace to another, I came upon a gentleman
who seemed to possess at least one secret ingredient of
the aforementioned 'balm.'"
Are all of us searching for a balm? Is fly fishing that
balm? Is it the 'peace' we find on the water?
Are those who abuse alcohol and drugs trying to find peace?
Or are they escaping the everyday disasters, distresses and
trials the writer speaks of? Or is it the same thing?
Are those who fly fish, tie flies, build rods, read about
other anglers and their successes or failures somehow finding
a coping mechanism which gets them from one day to another?
Does sharing a common frame of reference in a Chat Room, a
Fish-In or commenting on a bulletin board help us maintain
some fragment of sanity in a world spinning away?
The folks who are involved in the Casting for Recovery program
claim just the physical act of casting is a form of renewal -
both physical and emotional.
Is the concentration of wrapping a guide, or tying a fly involving
both physical and mental abilities, something which is actually
therapeutic? We know the program John Colburn is promoting to
teach the wounded how to tie flies works - on both levels. So,
does it also work for you and me too?
How about planning the first trip of the year? Isn't that an
expression of hope? Doesn't the very act of planning uplift
our spirits and give us a positive outlook?
And when we are fishing, the experience of being there, living
within the natural world, awakens our spirit and allows us to
soak up the beauty around us - from the smallest minnow in a
stream to the big sky above us. And having 'been there' we go
home tired yet refreshed - and the actual catching of fish is
secondary. In fact, when no fish are caught at all, there is
still an inner satisfaction of the attempt. New ideas are
created, new strategies, new or different techniques and flies,
plans laid for 'next time.' A learning opportunity.
It would seem just about all the aspects of our lives are somehow
involved in the art of fly fishing. And all of it in a good
How's that for a purveyor of peace?
~ The LadyFisher
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