Something About Destinations; a short read - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Something About Destinations; a short read

I wrote this into a forum thread that ask members about where their 'Dream Fishing Destination' would be. Things have a way of being buried and lost in a thread after a while so I am copying the words to here where they might be found from time to time. I am well aware that I get a little philosophical at times when I write or say something but I say what I know more often than writing what I think.

Anyway, here's some copy:

Hello Fellow Dreamers,

I would like to take the boat over to Kodiak so I could provide my own 'water taxi' in order to reach many of the rivers that are off the road system. This can be done but weather & sea conditions along with range and fuel requirements are a big consideration. It would mean traveling along the coast for many miles completely on your own and I need to get all the right gear for the boat before I could ever try such an adventure.

I tend to keep my dreams withing a reasonable grasp. When I lived in the lower 48 states I traveled every year to somewhere that seemed exotic to me. Many of the 'exotic' places turned out to be within 70 miles of home while some were thousands of miles away. If you start early and go often you will be able to create your own memories of the dreams that came true.

One thing I've learned about dreaming; don't ever think that you're too late to experience something that exists in America or neighboring Canadian Provinces. When I first went looking for salmon it was 1980 on the coastal rivers of Northern Maine, the worst of times for the once numerous Atlantic Salmon but I went anyway. It took until 1984 until I actually caught one but the memory is precious. I knew a lot of guys who talked about doing it but none who were trying. I camped in some of the most beautiful places in America and Canada and traveled by motorcycle. It was a hard way to live a dream but it beat the heck outta dreaming about what I would do some day.

I learned a few things in the first 50 years of my life and I'll stand by them until the years come to a close. Dreams are good but you gotta live every day like it's a dream come true.


That was the post to the thread;

I find that the more things change, the more they stay the same no matter where I go. I remember quite well standing in a long run of fast water in Lycoming Creek in mid November. The year, maybe 1982. The sky had that steel gray color that told of the coming winter that was fast & firmly closing it's grip on my home waters of the time. The wind came hard from the North as I cast my feather wing streamer across the flow and did my best to control the fly as it made its course ending up on the dangle below me. As I fished that afternoon I looked right into that cold wind as it began to spit frozen rain mixed with snow. November in Northern PA. sees some pretty short days and this one would quickly evolve to early evening. In my mind I was somewhere on one of those rivers of the Pacific Northwest that were but names in a book to me but I was there. With the wind pummeling away at me and not a single grab for all my efforts I kept working the riffles and my mind kept wandering. Deschutes, Rogue, Kalamath, Fraser, Skykomish, and on and on I was transported and my Nine Three streamer became a Thor, Skykomish, and finally a Freight Train, I somehow knew that there must be a connection and I was actually steelhead fishing the North West with my feet planted firmly in a stream flowing through the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania.

They say "you are where you are" and speaking in a literal sense I must agree, but a fisherman never has to be where he or she are at physically do they? Before that day came to a close I did manage to find one nice big brown trout. A male who's color and kype stood as a strong denial to the belief that Lycoming Creek (a big water but called a creek in title) didn't have natural propagation of trout. I had always wondered about that and considered it an urban legend because some areas of the stream offered every single quality that a trout could want for the sake of reproducing. But then I didn't start writing this in order to challenge the fish commissions rationality for stocking tens of thousands of trout to the stream, I was going in another direction.

Now I live in Alaska and have for a good many years, I still never made it to my dream streams and rivers that provided such pleasant entrancement way back when. I'll soon be fishing the rivers a few hundred miles west of home for steelhead as the ice continues to melt and breakup on the rivers out there. It's quite possible that even while I swing my streamers for these fish my mind may be back there on that November day some thirty years past, and I will hope to be jolted from my remote viewing of a place so far away by one of these fish that I pursue here at home.

So it goes, dreaming of somewhere else, the food and fuel of a fisherman's mind.

I hope that wasn't too hard to follow, I participate on another forum and that is where I wrote that. Then I copied it a few day later and pasted it into my blog. Then I continued the memory writing about Pennsylvania.

Kill the hens you kill the river.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 06:54 AM
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Thanks, Ard.
Nice read.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-07-2012, 10:46 AM
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"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." Yes, you are of a philosophical bent. Proust smiles upon you.

Being a California guy I've never sat through the long dark nights or anticipated the breaking of the ice. Such conditions must surely cause one to reflect on the things that are important and that others might take for granted. So, good on ya mate for sharing that!

My dreams are of Terrace in the early Spring. I'm leaving in two weeks for the Burkheimer Spey Camp and looking forward to exploring those lovely coastal streams which I've not fished before. I can already see my line straightening as my intruder swings into the inside seam and can smell the pines as they inhale the softening Spring air. And all those jays, swallows and ouzels celebrating the changing of the guard, swooping, chirping and hopping from limb to limb.

Then again, it'll probably be snowing...
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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The winters can contribute to memories coming to visit but participating on a forum brings many past experiences to the forefront. I read questions posted by folks new to fly fishing and many of them give cause to remember things that had been lost in the stack of thought.

I'm glad to hear that a couple of my fellow dreamers read that and did some thinking because of it.

Kill the hens you kill the river.
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