When you fish, what fills your mind? Do you think about work? Money? The wife? Kids? Bills? Sports?
Is your mind focused on fishing? Do you watch that strike indicator go past with the patience of a saint? Are you plotting every cast?
Yesterday, I made an effort to think about fishing while I was fishing. I spent the morning in a spot that I haven't seen since the spring. It was empty, but for me. There was no traffic, no barking dogs, no pestering tourists. It was just me and my thoughts.
At first, I could't get the stress of the world out of my head. I was worried about some bullshit person at work, some unpaid bills and wondering how to get through this upcoming winter without the railroad to keep me busy.
After twenty casts, I realized I wasn't even really at the river. I was back in town, at home, under stress. Why the hell was I even holding a rod?
I took a deep breath, made the cast, set the hook and landed a small brook trout. It was perfection. The world around was in harmony. There was no one else, anywhere, that could have any chance of changing this moment. As the fish swam away, it all made sense.
I spent the next few hours hopping around the river. There are a few hole in the stretch that I explored. As I did, I thought only of fishing. I did allow thoughts of other people to creep into my mind - but they were people that I have shared water with.
Stephen was reminding me to haul my line. Nome was telling me to mend my line. Dave was telling me that my cast sucked, but telling me that it would work. Tim was telling me that a good cast is rewarded with a fish.
The voices came and went as I needed them to. The morning was perfect. It was nice to spend it with my thoughts and my friends.