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The River Always Provides


Life always seems to throw some curveballs but, many times, in the best way. If you'd asked me in my 20s or 30s how my life would be in my 40s, I don't think "stepdad to three with an amazing wife living in Boise and being free to fish nearly any day I want while still building a good life for ourselves" would have been my answer.

If you know me, you know I've dedicated A LOT of my life to fly fishing. I've been fishing for over 35 years. I have been professionally guiding for 15. Now, I've become fortunate enough to get paid to write about fishing, review gear, and make the clothing I want to make/wear.

Life still "life's" me sometimes. Just like how autofill won't let me take the apostrophe out of "life's" haha. But, more and more, I'm amazed how...when you allow for much serendipity can seep in and overtake the seemingly "randomness" that was the life view of my youth.

It's always about what you're tuned into. Whatever you seek, you will find. It's so interesting to think that, as children, life was so full of joy.

Somehow, somewhere, we lost that playfulness. We were told to "grow up" and "it's time to be serious/responsible." Isn't it reasonable to assume we can be both responsible and light about things/life at the same time?

"The bugs had other plans. Flows changed. The river grew and morphed and shifted... but we never did. "

I don't know about you but, for me, it became time to unlearn the acquired behavior of "life's struggles." Choosing to see the good helped bring back that inner-child-curiosity and zest for how fun life can be.

I'm sure many of us can relate to those days on the water where whatever we were doing...whatever habit we'd learned or were taught in the past...wasn't serving us anymore. The bugs had other plans. Flows changed. The river grew and morphed and shifted... but we never did.

So while we were supposed to be present, knee-deep in the power and beauty of the place, we instead got pissed off that nothing we tried was producing any "positive" result (because there's always A result) and the whole thing began to resemble work. That four-letter-word we were out here trying to forget about.

I don't know about you, but every time I get "serious" about fishing, I lose that play mentality I was there to harness in the first place...I get rigid, methodical, and narrow-sighted.

If I can catch it, I remember to let my sphincter relax, that I'm here for enjoyment, and choose to allow space for the play/joy factor to return.

I can undoubtedly say that when I remember to do this, I feel more light, free, connected, and fun. I don't carry a fish counter (and I don't jive well with people who do) but, if I did, I bet I'd find that I almost always catch more fish this way too.

So, while I'm nowhere near a Jedi master, I can say that this approach does work. It's something I'll probably have to consciously work at for the rest of my days on this earth.

As per usual, here I am at the end of another musing and just loving how much fishing/nature helps to clear the head, reconnect the soul, and teach us about life.

Tight lines, friends! And whatever you do, whatever you want...just keep at it.



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