Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fly Fishin - 4

            I was famous.  If only you could have seen the difference in how I was treated after that.  It was as though I was a completely different man.  Everyone loved me.  It turns out the girl had been a very well liked daughter from the dentist in town.  She had just graduated, full of promise, and hope from the small town.  Her and her friends had been out “swimming” late at night in the river.  Really, they were out having a go at skinny dipping.  The girl had just ducked her head under water out in front of her friends when something hard carried along quickly in the current struck her head knocking her out.  Her friends had been unable to find her as she was carried away downstream.  Luckily she had resurfaced a little before I found her.
            I somehow managed to get her breathing before the paramedics showed up, but still I was glad to be rid of her.  It was a very stressful situation for me.  I had rarely felt my heart beat like that.  It was strained, and it really did hurt.  The paramedics shook my hand and took down my name before leaving, and as they left, I sat down on my front porch and stared up at that big Montana sky.
            It was one of those beautiful clear nights, where it seems you can touch the heavens.  That night I could almost drink the cream from the cool Milky Way.  The stars seemed to sparkle so vibrantly against the night sky.  The contrast seemed so clear at the time.  The contrast of life.  I was soon to discover a hard truth about the contrast of life.
            But I was content then.
            The next few days were just a bunch of hassle. The police came with reporters.  Everyone wanted to interview me.  There were some who were a little skeptical of my story because the girl had been naked, but for the most part they accepted it, and thanked me.  The parents even paid me a visit with the whole family and we had a nice little picnic near my river.  They were the only visitors I had ever had during my time in Montana.
            But they weren’t the last.
            That night my name aired with the story and the next day all the papers came out with the front page entitled: “Fly Fisherman saves girl.”  I found it a little bit too much pomp for me.  Especially the part about being a fly fisherman, I mean I was a fly fisherman, but I never really thought I deserved such a lofty title.  I just fished for fun, not because I was good at it.  On top of that, everyone started calling me a hero, but I never thought of myself as that.  I was just in the right place at the right time.
            The biggest change, however, occurred the next time I went into town.  It seemed as though overnight public opinion had changed of me.  I had people opening doors for me, and offering to carry my groceries, others slapping me on the back.  None of which I really cared for.  But everyone would say hi to me, and I was asked for the first time since I had been there how the fishing was.  I just smiled and said-optimistic.
            I’ll always regret that answer.
            The next few days I was able to spend in the peace and quiet of my cabin, just fishing like usual.  And then they came.  People started coming to my house for fishing advice.  More and more people wanted to come and see the vaunted fisherman.  It seemed they all thought I was the one to ask about fishing on the Yellowstone.  I didn’t know how to answer.  I was too old to be much good at lying anymore, so in the end, after a couple of attempts to avoid it, I told people the truth.  I told them the only thing I had ever caught on that river was the girl.
            They always thought I was joking.
            At first they would laugh, and then they would see that I was serious, and some of them would shake their heads and leave.  But some would persist, and think that I was just not telling them the secrets to fishing out there.  They wanted me to guide them, they wouldn’t believe me.  And then one day
They did.
The newspaper printed an article entitled: “Fly Fisherman still fishes after 8 years of not catching anything.”  I think it was meant to be an article on persistence, but it ended up being quite the opposite.  I became the laughingstock of the community.  Once again I was reminded of the sad inconvenient truth that if you don’t produce anything the world rejects you.  In a few short weeks time I went from being a nobody, to the hero, to the estranged castaway in society.
            And it hurt.
            I still went out to my river every day, but for some reason I felt bitter towards it.  I felt betrayed by that very thing I had loved so much.  I was sick of unrequited love, I couldn’t handle it anymore.  I even vowed one night that the next morning I would snap my pole.  And to my everlasting shame, when I woke up the next morning,
            I did.
            That night I sat huddled in a corner by myself and cried myself to sleep.  I couldn’t live without fly fishing, and that pole had become a part of me.  Every time it creaked, every time the line got caught in its old thread holes I would curse my luck, but deep down it made me proud that I could take care of it.  That I could take care of that old pole.  And I realized I was a fisherman.
            The next day, which was just a few days ago, I went back into town and faced the ridicule from the clerk, who howled with laughter when I told him I had broken my pole.  I bought a new one and high-tailed it out of town.  I never wanted to go back.  I’m done with society and its rules.  I see all of them, and I see that they’re enslaved to a system that won’t ever bring them happiness.  I used to think just as they feel, that production was the only way to be happy in this world.  But the truth is happiness doesn’t come from what you produce or what you can buy or attain in life.  Those are all capitalistic lies to make people productive.
            That gentle swish of my pole, that thwack on the water of the dry fly.  The feel of that cold rushing river against my thighs.  The touch of that cold autumn wind.  The fragrance carried as if by an angel of flowers in early summer.  The vision of the sun creeping gently over the purple peaks covered by a silent mist like a swan protecting her young.  That is my love.  And I’ve never been happier than I am when I’m-
            Fly fishin’.

Chaper III        Chapter V

Thank you for your support.  If you would like me to write about something please contact me, and if you would like to sponsor my trip somewhere to showcase your business or to work with me please send me an email as well.  You can also find my works for Kindle on Amazon.

Additionally, follow me on InstagramFacebook, or check out my photography website at A River Runs Through It Photography.  Finally, check out my travel guide website for planning trips and picking destinations at Travel Guide 201.  Additionally if you like my work consider donating at the bottom or click on a couple ads and maybe even buy something :)

No comments:

Post a Comment