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Old 01-14-2010, 01:45 PM
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Default The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

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Silence. Crisp, wintery silence. No, not exactly silence. Something better. Silence gently wrapped around the soothing white noise of an icy, tumbling mountain stream. Silence overlaid by the soft swish of a fly rod, the hushed whisper of line sliding through guides, the occasional rasp of a reel feeding a hungry cast. Silence attained by the crunch of boots in a blanket of snow and the sound of misty breath in cold air. Silence filled with subtle sound. Silence, then, not for the ears, but for the soul.

The silence of a solitary fly fisherman.

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I don’t usually set out to fish alone, but I fish alone more often than not. It’s the result of my inclination to escape during the week, rather than weekends, and my habit of making spontaneous, last minute fishing plans. I typically ask a few folks if they’d care to join me, but I usually get the same lame excuse, something about working for a living. So I go alone, without regret, enjoying the silence of the road, soothed by the hiss of tires on roadway, the dull rush of wind over the windshield, the peaceful absence of radio, phone, television. Disconnecting from the electronic world, traveling toward the natural.

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As I get older, I make concessions in my solitary fishing. I fish in familiar, accessible places. I wade more conservatively. I leave a detailed map with the missus. But I do escape. The cell phone, a blessing in so many ways, blessedly does not work when I'm tucked away in the deep mountain streams. Spending hours disconnected, without the sound of another human voice, is a gift of its own sometimes. Hours without worrying about the news, the job, the bank account, all contrivances of man. Inner silence, quiet solitude.

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Today, a single pretty rainbow trout saved me from a skunking. With no witnesses, I could fudge that number, say I caught a dozen. But to what purpose? The number of fish caught doesn’t matter. The emersion in the natural order does. And a single fish for a single fisherman has a certain quiet symmetry. One is enough today.

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So I fished alone within the silent sound of a new year, the same silent sound of last year, and of countless years before, here on this ancient, chilly mountain stream. At peace with the silence, comforted by it, nurtured by it.

The silence of a solitary fly fisherman.

Sep

Last edited by Sep; 01-14-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Always a great pleasure to see your pics and read your comments full of poetry and philosophy.This stream is wonderful...specially the third pic which made me dream...so many places to cast a fly...and I did it in my mind and imagined a trout rising where I expected it was....
Thanks a lot Sep
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Sep, beautifully done!
I get the feeling the desire to be unaccompanied, isn't for the good of the group, but is good for individual. Maybe we would all benefit if more people learned to be alone, but not lonely. Thanks for the "water report".
JIm
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Very well put!
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

I have been on a stream alone and had deer and turkey walk up within 40 feet of where I am fishing. I actually love to be out fly fishing alone.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Sep: Very nice fishing report, I really like your photos of the stream and surrounding terrain! Looks like a great place to escape for a few hours.

Larry
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Nice story, and I enjoy that same feeling. I watch a lot of horror move, however, and you may not have been alone in those woods.....
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Thanks for sharing Sep beautiful spot, and that fish looks great

Chris
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

Those pictures are why I love fly fishing a whole lot more than NASCAR.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: The Silence of a Solitary Fly Fisherman

All very nice. I particularly liked "one is enough today".
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