In my business I talk to a lot of people all day long; opening accounts closing deals, on the phone, returning emails. It’s a regular gab fest. I spend most of my time fully engaged with other people which is great and I love what I do. But by the end of the week I am done, aching for downtime and the quiet that you can really only find in nature.
I was introduced to fly fishing by my good friend Stephen while living in Ontario. By the time I relocated to British Columbia I was well and truly a fly fishing bum. On Fridays after work, I’d jump in my van and head north for about an hour and a half to the Squamish River. Arriving at night, I’d park the van somewhere along the rivers edge and fall asleep to rushing water in full anticipation of waking up early and fishing.
They say that fly fishing is hours and hours of research coupled with hours and hours and patience tied to 10 seconds of actually catching a fish. It’s like training to be the fastest 100m sprinter in the world. All that prep and anticipation and hours of research comes down a couple of seconds on the river.
Earlier on in my fly fishing days I would head down to a river near my house after work and just sit on shore watching fishermen casting, trying to understand the graceful motion these guys would nail effortlessly every time. Once everyone had packed up and gone home, I’d pull out my own rod and try with mitigated success to repeat the fluidity and ease I’d witnessed. I had… intermittent success. But practice makes perfect and it’s not hard to convince me to spend hours standing in the water repeatedly casting until I get it right.
But it’s not just about catching fish. On the river time slows down and speeds up intermittently. The sound and rhythm of the water offer rest and a mental escape. It’s a paradox how something that can be so difficult and frustrating to master can be so therapeutic. There’s days when there are so many fish you can barely get your line in the water before you land a big trout or cutthroat. And then there are days that no matter what fly and how many casts, the fish remain elusive. But there’s not one day that I’ve ever regretted being out there on the river, surrounded by nature, while the rest of the world with all its responsibilities and deadlines is carried away on the sound of rushing water.