Monday, October 22, 2012


I know I've been relentless not only in my pursuit of steel, but also in rambling about it.  Don't worry the dude is still obsessed.  However I have recently felt the need, not the desire but the NEED to ply the waters closer to home, to re-connect not only physically but spiritually with my home waters.  So with a sky firmly in the grips of autumn and the trees in all their colorful glory I found myself slipping back into an old rhythm, one that I had, dare I say, neglected as of late.  I brought my 5 wt. and a few streamers to my little home river and I have to admit, it all fell into place.  With perhaps an hour of daylight left I walked the tracks to a favorite run.....

Upon entering the water I got the feeling that the river was almost welcoming me home.  I assured the river and it's denizens that I would not forget my roots, no matter how much time I spent elsewhere.  I am connected to this land and these waters.  With the sun setting in the southwestern sky and the leaves in all of their brilliant hues, I knew the time of year had come when one can toss caution to the wind, put away the delicate dry flies and tie on a big gnarly streamer (not that there is no more hatches, just that one has this option and I for one look forward to it).  Sure enough, halfway through the run I got a violent take at the apex of the swing.  After a spirited battle I brought this beautiful brown to hand, 17 or 18", a nice sized fish on most any water and a great fish for this river.  After a quick picture I wiggle his tail once and he disappears to the depths....

My reconnection complete, I sat on the bank and watched the sun dip behind the mountains, completely satisfied with the one fish and truly happy in that particular moment. 
As I walked back to my rig in the dark my thoughts drifted down to the Bitterroot, up Lolo Creek and over Lolo Pass, down along the Lochsa until it meets the Selway and becomes the Clearwater.  At that moment I realize that is the same path my Ancestors made from time immemorial, to ply the same waters and trade with our friends the Nez Perce, and that I am following in their footsteps.  The realization hits me that although this is my home, and these are my home waters, I also have deep physical and spiritual ties, I even dare to say (albeit somewhat shallower) roots in Clearwater country...

As I write this I am preparing to once again retrace the steps of my Ancestors to satiate my obsession in my continued quest for steel....


  1. I never thought reading about fishing could be so intriguing, but your eloquent way with words certainly makes it quite pleasurable to read. =o)

  2. Thanks Lucky, I appreciate your words, and it makes me feel good that my musings are enjoyed by those beyond the circle of the flyfishing crazed!

  3. Your words and photos make me homesick.

  4. I'm sorry and thank you, (and maybe you're welcome??) all at the same time

  5. Spent a week up on Kelly Creek this year, as I have for most of the last twenty years. While I don't have the connection you do, my folks lived in Kamiah and all those trips to visit them left me with clear green water bubbling in my subconscious. Lochsa, Selway, South Fork, North Fork... They all haunt my dreams. Loved your story.

  6. Thanks for the kind words Rod, it's nice when someone "gets" what I'm saying. It's hard to explain the phenomenon of connection to waters. Perhaps out path will cross and we will share some time on one of these waters down the road...