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Campfire Thoughts

I’ve gotten lost in rivers…but none so much as the Yakima. I’ve fished it regularly my whole career, it holds my first trout, it holds my largest of both species still to this day.

It’s my homewater, I’ve learned it intimately. Every guide day on it and every angler I meet along it that wants a chat…reminds me that I know her well…better than some.

The days blur, I told my client today, the summer is a consistent chaos of things happening in the trout world. Consistent…but chaotic. Multiple bugs hatching, water temps in prime zones for peak trout activity. The fish are moving about, feeding, resting, podding up, reacting to their environment and an adept angler…can find themselves lost in trout.

I find myself there. Fishing, watching, learning, deciphering, plugging in and enjoying the ride. The rest of the world has faded away, even my wife reminded me that there is more than trout and rivers and that I can talk to people and be social. The calendar fills, and I’ve settled into my rhythm, and each day of angling runs into the next.

The rest of the world has little interest to me, the world here in front of me is so much more interesting and I can’t help but feel this is where I belong. It’s where I know I want to be, maybe even need to be at times…but there are times…when that fish eats, that client smiles, that otter eating that huge fing troot the other day…those times and so many others…they make me feel like I belong here. Was made to be there in those moments…sharing them with others…baring witness, a part of the experience…one that many in my position can take for granted…those moments…always humble me, remind me of the true importance of them…reminds me of what I really do for a living…all of it.

The campfire weakens, a pine cone falls from the tree top and spooks my attention. The soft hiss and rumble of the Cle Elum River just over the bank a stones throw from where I sleep. I woke up to elk this morning, the sounds of kingfisher fluttering and calling along the river edge, a raven cawls deeply to his brethren, the smell of cotton wood and sweet ponderosa pine wafts in the warm air. My cloths and beard smell of campfire, my hands are tan, as well as my knee caps, feet tops, and face, I’ve spent more time outside now than I did at home for this past break. I’m on river time, which doesn’t line up well with the ‘normal’ day to day of most. It is a great joy of this gig to be able to help people fit into that consistent chaos for a few fours with a few casts of the fly rod and a boat ride…

See ya riverside anglers.

Tamarack

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