Fly-Fishing in the Sierras


A client of mine told me the real reason he goes fly-fishing in the Sierras. He didn’t particularly care for fishing, but he said it was an acceptable excuse to stand all day thigh-deep in a mountain stream, surrounded by trees and rocks and clouds. And stillness. And the welcoming friendliness of nature. And the comforting current of the stream.

He would lose himself while standing in the streams of the Sierras. He said that the beauty and silence of nature drew out his soul and liberated him from the anxiety and pressures of his life.

He said that the top of his head would open, and something of him would fly up and out and finally hook in the mouth of a fish swimming in eternity.

And yet he could not directly face this, could not directly admit his yearning for this communion. He pretended to love fly-fishing. He didn’t just come right out and say to people that he hiked into the mountains to feel his soul and connection to fish swimming in eternity.

Many of us are secretive about our longing to unite with the larger beauty of which we are a part. Why are we embarrassed to admit that we want to live in this pristine wilderness of spiritual communion?

I wondered at the impact this man would have if he had returned to work trailing the billowing clouds on a string, as open as the mountain skies, as honest as the trees, as articulate as the stream, as patient as a seedling awaiting the right time.

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Robert Rabbin Written by Robert Rabbin

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