April 30th, 2007

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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Emerging Mayfly Therapy
By Robert (Bob) Hanley, CA

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

About Robert:

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.


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