Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 17, 2011

Driving down an unplowed road the other day: down from I-90, spiraling toward a valley bottom. The road was narrow, unplowed and showed one set of tire tracks in front of me. Steep drop off to my left. Very steep. It was an exercise in strengthening nerves and focus. Could not take much time to look off at the hillsides. I should have stopped and gotten out becuase the view was deserving of some time. I was late though, hunting down WFF streamside. I probably dropped 100-200 feet into that timbered valley. Every farmhouse felt secluded. Each had its own little world to keep up. Good place to spend part of an afternoon.

As for the fishing, it's all wrapped up in this video, put together by WFF. He pretty much nails it.

I'd fished this stream before, but never this reach. Like it a lot. Learned a bit more about it in the field and then later in the office. Will be back in spring if not again in winter. I like the seclusion. I sit and wonder if maybe the wooded hills are vaguely like they were before Eurpoeans came along and I tend to think yes, they are approximately what the folks saw 10,000 years ago. That's a comforting feeling for me: to know that not everything is completely jacked up in lights and muddled up by people and battered and made gaudy, etc. Leave some places be and just let folks walk through them.

Also important to share places like this and I do so with my kids to the extent practicable at this time. I'd have them winter fishing if I were not 100% sure they would ask to quit after a few minutes. Kids seek comfort. And isn't it funny that now as adults, some of us seek out hardship and challenge and discomfort because we know we're dying standing up and dying walking around inside all day just rotting and becoming soft? Seeking out challenge, strife, etc. Nothing too intense like mountain climbing but just looking to have that completely safe and comfortable feeling displaced so you can feel like a man (not a macho man but rather just a human man).

The more I sit and rot inside pissing away at a computer screen and drawling into a phone receiver, the more I'm reminded of how important it is to get out and suffer some hardship in pursuit of something better. Jesus is it important. And we're not even talking real hardship here. Just get sweaty under that coat while your face is chilled by a cold breeze. Walk along the stream and see what's really out there. Even if it's difficult to find the time, and you feel guilty for leaving your kids, and you have to burn some fuel to get there, do it anyway. If you don't, you will die, plain and simple. Dead man walking is no good for anybody.

Anyway, check the WFF report (thanks for good planning and the candor that ensued), and the pics below. Should motivate you to get out and feel something good.


Blogger John Montana said...

Great reminder j. Easy to forget what we are and what we are meant to be in the current world.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Royce Gracie said...

Reminds me of sweating and breaking ankles over pursuit of John Montana's heals . Makes me want to go deep in the BWCA.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Could use another day like that right now. Just gearing up to face a keyboard for 8 hours. Damn it.

8:09 AM  
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