Friday, January 31, 2020

Reminiscing and Moving Forward

A whole life in front of me...

There I was, laying in a hammock on the deck of a sailboat in the middle of the Caribbean. The Milky Way loomed overhead, clearly visible amongst an unfathomable amount of stars. The gentle swells of the ocean slowly began to lull me into a sleep and the only thing keeping me from dosing off was the occasional gust of wind. It was "only" day three of an excursion mooring off several of the British Virgin Islands scattered across the Lesser Antilles. My brother, Matt, rested in an adjacent hammock while Adam slept on seat cushions sprawled out on the main deck. In the main quarters below, were the Haider brothers from Austrian Outdoor Sports, Stephan Dombaj of the Fly Fishing Nation, and our gracious host Alexander Davidson. During the day, we hunted for bones, perm, and tarpon before reconvening in the evening to talk about our experiences and plan the next day's adventure. Occasionally, we found ourselves taking a dingy to the mainland for a quality meal, drinks, and camaraderie.  It was an epic trip during a summer spent in the sand, sun, and heat. I was living the life and was too young to fully comprehend the moment...

Monday, January 20, 2020

Finding Winter

Winter Gold

The dead of winter. For most serious fly fishermen, winter represents a greater chance at solitude, and the power that one can find in being alone. Few people are willing to leave the comfiness of a warm home to venture into low temperatures. Far fewer are eager to stand in 34 degree water silently hoping for a tug at the end of their line, as they slowly lose feeling in their toes. Thankfully, nature and the elements are often all the company one needs on the water. There, they can find solace in the ethereal beauty of a snowflake, the intricate formations of ice, or the way a gust of wind can cause tears to form in the corner of their eyes. Small moments like this, easily make up for cold extremities. 

The bees knees of fly fishing in winter is the the silence of snowfall. Standing alone in the middle of the river, swinging a fly, with only the sound of the water rushing between your legs is therapy for the mind. An equilibrium check from the rigors of work and the constant barrage of a negative news cycle. Living in an area where snowfall can be scarce, it is an easy decision to search for and find these experiences. If you yearn for that moment of chill, make it happen. 

Find your winter.