Why We Fly Fish
When I say "we', I am talking about myself, and Morris, that magical little mouse that lived in the shirt pocket of a very old flannel shirt I used to hunt and fish in. Morris, on occasion would offer advice in exchange for a bit of cheese, on what the fish were likely to bite on, when I was not having any luck. All in silence.
But he was always right. He's gone now. His memory is as vivid, when I put on that old shirt, as if he's still with me, in that warm pocket.
There is something inside of me that just feels out of place in a modern world. I always thought I was born about 150 years too late. I would have been at home on the great plains or in the mountains of Montana or the Smokies. I would have earned my keep by fishing and hunting the land for meat, and hides for clothes. I would have been warm in a teepee during the winter snows.
I would have been brought up in the ways of my people, nourished by their wisdom, and learned of their skills.
I would have followed the herds of buffalo, deer and elk, migrating with them throughout the seasons. I would have fished the great rivers of this nation for their bounty, and their soothing advice and wisdom.
I would have missed out on an awful lot in the modern age, though, if I were born so long ago. But it would have been fantastic!
Why do I fly fish?
Because I guess it is the challenge of the trout beckoning to me to try my luck at his game, where he reigns as master and I the student.
But more than that, a fly rod is the perfect wand that transforms me into the world where I would have lived 150 years ago.
Sometimes when I think about it, I get homesick. Some will understand.
Very well put. I must say, we have a lot in common.
We should try to get together and fish sometime!
I would like that. Give me a few days and I'll let you know some dates I'll be up there.
I'll be down in Tellico Plains on April 20 thru May 2, fishing the Tellico and North Rivers, and Citico Creek area. Plan on making it down to Big Snowbird Creek at least one day, off of the county road along Big Snowbird.
Staying at the Caney Creek Village and Cabins Campground (http://www.caneycreekvillage.com/) on 360 North out of Tellico Plains toward the lake. Right hand side of road with an angel statue and sign. Cabin 2, White Toyota Matrix, Indiana Lic.No. K9REH.
Stanaclaus is joining me for a day of fishing the North and South Forks of Citico Creek on April 26th., off Indian Boundary Road and the Cherohala Skyway. Your are most welcome to join us!
If you can make it the 26th, that would be great. If not maybe on another day.
I know its a long drive from Race City, so if you want to come the evening before, you can use the extra fold-away bed in the cabin.
Email me at (rikwhitefeather at yahoo dot com) and leave me your phone number and I'll call you when I get down there, if I don't hear from you for sure on the forum, and we'll go from there.
I think wisdom from Morris would be welcome on the board at anytime you happen to recall it.
The Rest of The Story
He climbed into that old flannel shirt pocket sometime during the late winter of 1977. I had left the old flannel shirt in the garage because it reeked of fox-cover scent from deer season, and the Mrs. wouldn't touch it! LOL!
Morris didn't mind though. I gave him that name when my first words upon discovering him were, "you look like lunch for Morris (the cat).
I felt the lump in the shirt when I put it on, but my only thought was that it was something left over from dear season the previous fall. I was on my way to my fishing hole and wasn't about to take it off. It was my lucky shirt! My thoughts were on fishing, so I really wasn't curious about what the lump was...until it moved.
I knew immediately what it was then. I gently opened the pocket flap and peered in. There he was. A very small gray mouse. He rose from his nap, climbed out on my chest above the pocket and peered up at me. He wiggled his nose, blinked his small eyes, and crawled back down into the pocket, curled up, and went back to sleep. All as if to say, "can't you tell when a mouse is trying to catch a nap, now give me a little peace."
The Lord has always visited me in strange ways such as this, every since I was a child, so I while I was surprised, I was also receptive. The Mrs. used to doubt my stories of the wild things and my encounters, till she witnessed Morris sitting on my shoulder one evening sharing cheese with me, and some years later, my experiences with other animals. I'm glad she didn't scream! But, she had been a farm girl, so she had her "pets" when she was a child back on the farm.
Morris never spoke to me of course, but looking into his eyes I guess the power of self-reflection deep in my mind came to the surface with ease. But yet it seemed more than that.
If I asked, "white or green?" there was a powerful response in my mind, as if he was telepathically saying one way or the other. I decided not to ignore it. It never failed.
And I would share with him the cheese and crackers I had plenty of for snacks. He would sit on my shoulder and when he was done, back down in the pocket he went.
He only went with me over a period of a week or so, back in that February when it was like May outside everyday for the entire month. For that time, he was always there, and he was quite tidy. He didn't chew up anything and he didn't soil the pocket, so I let him stay, hanging it back up on the coat hanger in the garage.
After fishing everyday for a week with Morris in my pocket, one evening, when I came home from work, he was gone. Off doing mouse things I hoped. I prayed the cats didn't get him.
Morris was a wild thing, a part of nature, destined to be free and on his own, but for that week, he lived in friendly harmony and in complete trust with me, in that pocket, and for that, I will always be truly amazed, and humbled.
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