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Old 04-23-2007, 07:51 AM
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Default Praying for Trout?

From my article this week:

In the course of my years of fly fishing, I have probably spoken dozens of prayers while on the stream. When the sun was well below the horizon, and there was just enough light to tie on one more fly, I said to myself: “Please let one more trout rise.” When the rain clouds were forming, and it looked like my day of fly fishing was going to be cut short, I may have whispered: “Just a little longer, please.” And of course, when the trout were not biting, and every cast and every fly was ineffective, I might have said out of frustration: “Come on, just one bite.”

As The Fly Fishing Rabbi, sometimes people ask me if my prayers for trout to rise are answered more readily than those of everyone else. I think not. I’m just as likely to get rained on, or to lose my fly in the dark or not to catch a single fish as anyone.

As I thought about praying on the stream, I asked myself: What should we pray for when fly fishing? Is there such a thing as a blessing for fly fishing?

There are prayers that are good for fly fishing, and they are prayers of thanksgiving. Ironically, I am more likely to say a prayer of thanks when I am not catching fish. When the water is silent, and I cannot get a bite, and I am not too frustrated, then I sometimes take a moment to look around. I watch the river flow by. I feel the breeze. I smell the pine needles.

When I see the beauty of nature, I ask myself: How did such an amazing earth come to be? What did I do to deserve to live in such a beautiful place? Feelings of awe, connection and humility come to me. And then I am led to a simple response: “thank you.” Saying “thank you” when fly fishing is to acknowledge that this earth we live on is a gift. Saying “Dear God, thank you” when on the stream is to offer up a prayer.

Rabbi E
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Old 04-23-2007, 10:41 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Praying for Trout?

First of all, thank you for being bold enough to bring this up.

I personally find my time on the water the best time to talk
with the Lord, Maker of All, especically if I am out by myself.

Like you I see all that is around me & give thanks even
though I may catch nothing. I'm sure we've all prayed for
that once in a lifetime fish, but if he never shows that' OK.

Thanks again,

Tie One On
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Praying for Trout?

As a Catholic monk and priest, I have an obviously different but related tradition than your own, RabbiEE, but here's my ecumentical two cents:

I think the most important aspect of prayer is to seek the presence and will of God--and flyfishing can certainly put you in touch with him. As you undoubtedly know, resting in God is crucial to the spiritual life. Fishing and other outdoor activities are a good vehicle for that.

Personally, I find that fishing, especially flyfishing, and hunting give me a sense of being Adam in the garden--especially when there's success. When you get a creature to do as you want and hope, I find myself feeling something of Adam's dominion and stewardship over the earth has been regained or restored, if only in a small way. I know that Christian tradition sees man's unity and harmony with creation as broken by sin, and I recall that is part of your own tradition as well.

What I've always said is that wind knots, false rises, hooks in the ear, and all the other parts of flyfishing that tell you something's gone wrong in the universe point to the need of a Messiah--some sort of redeeming savior that will put things right. If I happen to be wrong on who it was, I thank my lucky stars that God's promise to you and others who share your faith is still in place. We need a Messiah badly.
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Praying for Trout?

I'm always careful to take in consideration that what I'm praying for is what I need and not what I want. Yes, I want to land a world record brown trout but I don't really need too. I always try to focus on what has already been stated, being thankful for God's true beauty of nature and the time that I have been given to honor his creation.

Great post guys and keep them coming. Let me just add that as much as I enjoy discussing religious theology lets try to keep it civil and raise above all the "he said she said my religion is better syndrome". Everyone has there own belief system. Whether you believe in Christianity, Islam, Judism, etc. God is a gracious God. We are all trying to get the same place.

Thanks,
Terry
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Praying for Trout?

Well said, darkknight. Respect for others is foundational.

Flyfishing gets us into a very primordial and sacred aspect of human existence--we were made for communion with god and his creation. There's a lot more to us, of course, but this is still very fundamental. It can be a great springboard into the deepest part of life--why we are here, our purpose, and how to live it out.
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