I have been nosing around here for a while; first as just a reader then I started to post when I saw something on books.
I noticed this thread and wanted to give some insight as to why I fish. I like the outdoors, but recently my wife observed, "You like to fish more than anything else don't you?" I thought about it for a moment and came to conclusion that I couldn't deny it. I love to fish.
I saw this forum and it caused me to put a little thought into why I like to fish so much. A good friend put together a scrap book after one of our trips and asked me to write the introduction. I think it says it all. So here is my take on it.
There is much written in the following pages, by a fine writer I must say, about the individuals involved in this incident. I will not venture into particulars, but as one of the elder statesmen of Salmon Camp I would like to relate some of the generalities of our adventures and the air that surrounds people and places.
My tenure with this camp started some years ago. I had known the Pere Marquette when I was a kid but never dipped a toe into her until the inception of this trip, when I was well grown. I also didn’t come to the fly rod until later. These facts are true for all of us in camp, but I must say that despite our late start it is engrained in us. So now you have the picture; a bunch of late bloomers with Michigan, river blood flowing through their veins.
I refuse to deny anything that goes on at the camp. The accounts depicted within are true and the names have not been changed because nobody is innocent; we make sure of that. The cussing, the drinking, the fasting, and the sometime vulgarities are all true and we are proud of them. To understand the camp though a person must realize that there are bigger things going on there.
Life is full of ups and downs and sometimes when things are not going your way you find counsel in the oddest places. Picture, if you will, an old gray bearded man talking a young man through his first pink slip. He looks downright Freudian with his beard and his pipe, but can’t seem to shake the comedy of a long camouflaged rain coat and a Yahzoo cap. The place is full of experiences.
If a job is lost then somewhere something is gained. There is nothing as exciting and full of possibility as new life. It adds purpose to the extra drinks and optimism to our camp. There will be a new net man one day and hopefully the guarantee that camp will go on long after we are gone.
There is the adoption of the younger guys by the old guys despite generation gaps and familiarity. And in the end newcomers are just as welcome as the old friends. There is always the smell of the river though and the woods at night. It cuts through the earth like time through life and runs over the top of world like we had all anticipated doing when we were young.
I once wrote that one of my earliest memories is the smell of an outboard engine mixed with the big water. I realize now that that smell is anticipation and in the end that is what gets us about angling; the anticipation that there is something down there and that you just might catch it. I realize now that it isn’t just the fish that we anticipate; there are things like sharing a drift with your brother and handing a throbbing fly rod off to your dad.
I would encourage all to go forth and chase wild things and maybe one day, when you look back, your memory will be the smell of a river on a crisp autumn night and the anticipation that the fish will bite.
I guess you would have to have been there our at least seen the book.
I wonder why everyone else fishes.
Last edited by Paula Begley; 03-11-2008 at 09:25 PM..
Reason: removed website link