I had become pretty well spent from stress at work and life
that happens. My good friend Gregg gently prodded me to take
time off and go fishing with him. I was able to get Friday and
Monday off without any trouble, and besides, I have lots of
vacation time available. Gregg was adamant when I tried to
cancel out on Friday because I wasn't feeling good. I
couldn't identify the feeling as a flu or something. It
couldn't have been because it was my 50th birthday. Gregg is
not only my friend. He is also my pastor and spiritual advisor.
There seems to me to be something spiritual about being out in
His creation and fishing on a mountain stream. Take time to
listen and you will hear "Be still and know that I am God."
I drove to Gregg's house and loaded my gear into the car for the
45 minute drive to the Tuolumne River near Yosemite National
Park. We haven't had much rain so all the waters were fishable
and crystal clear. I was new to this area so I was watching
the insects and turning over stones to see what the fish were
eating. Stonefly and mayfly nymphs were numerous but had no
takers on my wet flies. Then we observed emerging mayflies
being smacked off the surface by what seemed to be every trout
in that spot. I dug out the only fly I had that had the right
color wings, a #10 flying ant. Everything went right as my fly
landed in just the right spot and was noisily taken by a beautiful
rainbow. It splashed and danced as I quickly landed it. Nothing
beats a fresh cold water trout on your plate except the satisfaction
of releasing it to spawn another day. This fish was a natural and
therefore has superior genetics that need to stay in the river
system. Call it therapy, call it healing of the soul and mind.
I know I need to set more time aside for just being still and
knowing that I am not God...
~ Robert Hanley
Robert is a water and wastewater treatment operator as well as
a facilities Maintenance worker at a large group home for
at-risk teenage boys. He is married with children, the last
one at home is 13.