And One Was Enough


I caught one fish today.

The creek is close, but not too close. The kind of place that doesn’t stand out on a topo map, but it looks fishy as hell when you see it. A few years ago, I put in a dozen days with clients. We had success in the dry days of summer when options were sparse, but it fishes best when the rain rolls in and pushes the water against the overgrown banks. It fishes best on days like today.

There used to be an old blue truck topper well above the waterline in one thick, rhododendroned corner. We found a chunk of it in the water today; how it got there is a mystery to me. Too far and too heavy to carry out, we dragged it back into the trees. It doesn’t belong in the woods, but it belongs less in the water. A bright splash of blasphemous blue, an unwelcome intrusion.

Lately, it has been more about the company than the fish. Today, though, was a perfect combination of friends, fish, and landscape. The rain reclined, making room for the fog, and the woods were loud with the sounds of spring. I blew the crow call here and there, optimistically hoping to expose a gobbler, but the forest answered with the almost violent roar that only comes to you when you set the silence aside. There is no quiet here.

I feel possessive of these woods. I grew up here, I learned to fish here, I hunt grouse here, and, in a few short weeks, I’ll be back in search of turkey. This brooding, brutal landscape is where I find my peace. You can keep your high-rises and high-risers; I’ll take my woods, my friends, and my contentment.

I caught one fish today.



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