I stand alone and take back something worth remembering"
Remember this old song by Three Dog Night that came out in 1970? You can call it cheesy or whatever but these words have stuck with me all these years later.
When I go fishing these days it's no just to catch fish! I know that sounds like a worn out fishing cliche or an excuse for not having a successful day but it's really the truth for me.
I always try to "take back something worth remembering"from a day on the river. It might be insignificant to most but to me it makes the journey worth it.
Last week I travelled east to my mother river, the Deschutes. The fishing was not good at all but you know something? I took back plenty and had a great time. I saw a beautiful black tail deer just out of Maupin. He was so majestic looking. A hunter would think about how much they wanted to "bag" that deer but I just was thinking how lucky I was to see it. I really don't have anything against hunting but I think I would rather just get a picture of this wild deer rather than shooting it.
When on the coastal rivers I enjoy seeing the shore birds and the occasional bald eagle soaring because seeing a bald eagle is always breathtaking for me and not because of some patriotic stirring just because it is the symbol of our country. For me it's knowing these birds were on the edge of extinction and through conservation efforts they have come back from the brink.
Sometimes I bring back a nice quartz I might find along the stream bed or if I am lucky I will find an agate to take home with me. I once encountered an elderly gentleman along the Kilchis river who was collecting rocks. He told me he had lived along the Kilchis most of his life and had no interest in the anadromous salmon and steelhead runs that the region is famous for. He was after rocks and ancient tribal artifacts from indigenous people who inhabited that region. He told me that he has found all kinds of stone tools and arrowheads over the years. You see if I had not taken the time to stop fishing and actually talked to this old fellow I would have really missed out wouldn't I have?
Meeting this man was something I brought back from the river and through that encounter I am always looking for interesting rocks to bring home.
So I guess it is all in the way you approach things isn't it? I am blessed to live in a part of the country that has so much to offer. Everywhere I go there is always something worth remembering to take home with me and cherish. There was the bobcats and mountain lion I saw or the rock collecting gentleman along the river. Even the few rattlesnakes I have encountered along the Deschutes is a memory I love.
In this old angler's life the simple pleasures are really the best and if an occasional trout decides to take my fly then so much the better I figure, Regardless of fishing success, I always bring back something worth remembering and those are my memories.