No place like home
What gets you out of bed at 5:00 Am in the morning on a nice summer day? Is it the thrill of fish dancing on the line, the smell of the cool crisp mountain air blowing down the river and right into your face? Is it the sounds of birds chirping away with no care, or perhaps it’s the eagles gliding overhead looking for their morning meal, then diving into the river just a mere fifty yards in front of your boat, scooping up a trout and disappearing into the sunrise. This is what home looks like to me, feels like to me! When I step in my boat and slide atop the water, I have arrived, I am free, and I am home. My mind is clear, crystal clear. All worries leave my mind and body in minutes, sometimes seconds. The feeling of belonging washes over me! I am alive, focused, determined.
Can you hear the water rushing below the boat; can you smell the scent of pine and poplar tickling your nose hairs? If you breathe deeply you can smell it, even taste it. Have you ever just sat there in awe of the beauty of nature; not even making a single cast? Do you just sit quietly watching the sun rise looking at the morning dew burning off the grass that lines the river bank, watching intently for rising fish from across the river? Sometimes I close my eyes for a moment and listen to the water lap against the boat. Even though I see the same water often, I still give thanks to the river God’s that my home on the water is there for me, preserved by anglers who have walked the banks before me. The river is always home to my heart, and has a huge piece of my soul.
This year was a year I fished alone many times. I would launch the boat and then put in my headphones, playing some of my favorite music, while floating quietly down the river. The music would help me zone in and become one with the river and its surroundings. The camouflage of Van Halen, Joe Satriani and Foster the People let me be loose and relaxed out there. I always feel loose and relaxed when I am home on the river, but with music playing while casting, I feel it helped me catch more fish, not to mention its soothing properties.
I camped along the river a few times this year as well. Nothing say’s ‘I’m home’ quite like waking up beside the river, crawling out of the tent and seeing white tail deer munching on the green foliage fifteen yards away. I would wake up early just to watch the sunrise above the cliff wall behind the tent. As the sun would heat the water, the fog would lift slowly off the river as the coffee pot percolated on the Coleman stove beside my lawn chair. The colors of the sky were amazing those mornings, turning dark reds to orange to clear blue. I would sit and sip coffee watching the trout rise for early morning caddis flies as the sun made its way above the tree line. We had a ton of rain in early spring, making the landscape rich and fertile for all the animals and birds that call the river home. The rainbows would come up to sip those caddis flies off the tail end of the seam, and I would watch them smiling deep within my core.
I smile and sing when I with my family, and my family lives on the river with me. I am very emotionally attached to my river family and that’s why I feel at home here. I am geographically close to home which lets me make the most of this relationship. I can see my river family as much as I want. I specifically chose my concrete home close to my ‘river home’ for this reason. I can be “home away from home” as often as I want! Being away means that I miss out on enjoying their company, therefore I stick ‘close to home’ as much as possible. After all, this is where I feel completely connected and plugged in.
In the wintertime months it gets difficult for me, almost as If I feel home sick. I miss the river, I miss the eagles, I miss the smell of the flowers and pine trees. I miss the thrill of the catch! I miss the water and the sunrises. I miss the individuals who fish with me, and I miss solitude, just the fish and I, nobody else. So I think I will click my waders and repeat several times in my mind “there is no place like home, there is no place like home”.
I will leave you with one of my favorite Van Halen songs that remind me of home.
‘Take me back; I wanna be there with you. It happened just like that, yeah! Slip in a dream or two Come on, take me back Oh, déjà vu. Some call it fate, some superstition.Some call it luck, it’s all the same. Oh, just one of the mysteries of creation. Somethin’ you feel but can’t explain!
Merry Christmas to all my readers and clients! From my home to yours, I hope you all have a safe and blessed holiday season.