Every fall I make two trips to northern Ontario, Canada fishing with two different groups of friends. We stay at one of the great places in the world – Camp Anjigami. By making Camp Anjigami our home base we’re able to fish many lakes for different species of fish (Walleye, Northern Pike, and Brook Trout).
Each species provides its own challenges and thrills. But my favorite species, by far, is the Brook Trout, or as the Canadians call them “Speckled Trout”. They’re beautiful (and elusive) fish that put up a big fight. The only issue with catching these little darlings (at least for some of my buddies) is that the best Speckled Trout lake is also the most challenging one to get to. The trip requires us to boat over four separate lakes (including 2 sets of rapids) and make 5 portages, all of which takes about 3 hours, one way.
There is no short cut (unless you charter a floatplane) to this lake. So if you want the chance to catch Speckled Trout, you boat and hike. Now for me I love to catch these fish, but truthfully I may even love the journey there and back more than the fishing.
Now why would I love the journey more than the fishing?
First, because it’s an adventure. Every time I make the trip something unexpected happens.
Second, the lakes and walks are absolutely rugged and beautiful.
But primarily the journey reminds me of the most important work and activities in my life such as raising kids, building a lasting marriage, achieving career goals or becoming the man God’s created me to be. I’m reminded that these endeavors are also journeys. And like my Speckled Trout journey, if seen in the right perspective, all have a sense of adventure, beauty, and a quest for something big, meaningful, and lasting which makes the journey itself as joyful as the destination.43.928283-85.286682
In honor of it being spring and the beginning of fishing season I’ve re-read some of my favorite fishing passages from one of my favorite books – A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean. See if these words don’t get you ready to wet a line and land the big one.
“Poets talk about ‘spots of time,’ but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone.”
“‘Brother,’ he said ‘you can’t catch trout in a bathtub. You like to fish in sunny, open water because you are a Scot and afraid to lose a fly if you cast into the bushes. But fish are not taking sunbaths. They are under the bushes where it is cool and safe from fishermen like you.”
“One reason Paul caught more fish than anyone else was that he had his flies in the water more than anyone else. ‘Brother,’ he would say, ‘there are no flying fish in Montana. Out here, you can’t catch fish with your flies in the air.'”
“Something within fishermen tries to make fishing into a world perfect and apart – I don’t know what it is or where, because sometimes it is in my arms and sometimes in my throat and sometimes nowhere in particular except somewhere deep. Many of us probably would be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.”
“Every fine fisherman has a few stunts that work for him and for almost no one else.”
If you aren’t going to go out and fish soon, read The River Runs Through It, there’s more to it than some wisdom for fishermen.43.928283-85.286682