Thank You Enchante' for this beautiful Award!

The Fisherman

He leaped powerfully above the rest. More gifted than the others, he surged ahead. As if to show me his talents and capabilities.

His strength was evident, his course unknown, as he raced through hidden hang-ups and dangerous currents. But somehow I've managed to hold on. Even at the end of a frayed and pressured line.

I feel his every throb. He doesn't seem to know that I will never give up. He also secretly wants me to guide him from the swift currents, to a quiet pool where he can pretend to give up, and afford me the pleasure of cradling him in my arms. He can't understand that this is all I really want, and I will release him to go off on his own, to be one of the rest. His name is Adam, and his message is, "notice me!"

He once too was not quite fourteen, much like his brother Greg, who sat beside me on the 23rd of January, two days before his fourteenth birthday. Greg and I were on our way across a frozen highway towards the Smith River to catch his first winter steelhead.

He had started to show the signs of most boys his age. The baseball cap worn backwards, the baggy pants and untucked shirts, complete with uncut words and disrespect for their Mothers. It was time for me to notice, and be a Father.

We wound our way through the forest until we reached my favorite stretch of steelhead drift on the Smith. A good friend on the river quickly hooked a bright hen and yelled, "Greg, land this one!" Though somewhat inept--with instruction--it soon was netted and lay shining on the bank. The morning was filled with hook-ups, break-offs and captured fish.

Greg was slowly learning through snags, tangles and broken leaders, that you call this sport "fishing" and not "catching!" He quickly became more proficient, and managed to hook and lose his own steelhead. But the real thriller was his wide eyes and doubled rod, as he yelled, "Dad, I've got one!!"

I've got one, was an understatement. The drift in front of us erupted in a shower of spray from a glistening and powerful 30 lbs. of Chinook Salmon. This fish was powerful! It made several jumps that cleared the water by two or three feet and then crashed back to the swift current. The amazing thing was that Greg had him on a steelhead rod with 12 lb. line and 10lb. leader. And equally as rare, was the fact that Chinook are seldom in the Smith at this time of the year.

There was a chorus of, "Hold him kid!", "Keep your rod up!", "Don't give him any slack!", "Watch the drag boy!"; all from experienced fishermen who had never caught a fish of this size and power. After ten minutes of staying in front of us, Greg's Chinook headed down stream through a dangerous stretch of rapids and whitewater. "We'll have to follow", I instructed, so we made our way along the river bank. Down the river we went,-the Chinook with Greg in tow, myself, and good buddy Marvin Combs with the landing net.

We were met with shouts of encouragement of "Get him kid!", "Careful boy!", and "What a fish!" They stopped fishing and stood in awe, and hollered instructions, as we scrambled over boulders, waded chest deep to clear the line, as we stumbled and fought our way a good half-mile down stream. Finally we got to a stretch of the river where we could not follow, and the inevitable happened. Greg's Chinook popped free.

As if to show off, the fish wallowed on the surface in the middle of the river portraying his great strength and girth--and then he was gone.

We made our way up the bank to the road to walk the distance back to where it had all started. Along the way I heard "Great job kid!", "You did everything right boy.", "What a fish you had!" And finally an old fisherman said, "No one could have caught that fish, boy."

And you know,-the old gent was right. Chinook like that are made to make men out of youngsters.

On the walk back, Greg's stride was confident, he had grown a little, his face was proud, his hat was on straight. And-, more importantly-,I had made a dent in Fatherhood.

11bravovet, Your Father

Yesterday is only a memory--Tomorrow is but a dream--

But Today--well lived, Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness

Every tomorrow a vision of Hope

Look well, therefore to this Day.

...From Walt Miller...


Author : Professor JRR Tolkien

The road goes ever on and on,

Out from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the road has gone,

Let others follow it who can.

Let them a new journey begin,

But I at least with weary feet,

Will turn towards the lighted Inn.

My evening rest and sleep to meet.

But someday, a week, a month, 50 years of man,

Still 'round the corner there may wait,

A new road or a secret gate.

And though oft I have passed them by,

The Day will come at last when I,

Shall take the hidden paths that run,

West of Moon, East of Sun.

Look back at all the happy days.

Always remembering what it was that made you smile.

...From Walt Miller...


Author : Professor JRR Tolkien

I sit beside the fire and think, of all that I have seen.

Of meadow-flowers and butterflies, in summers that have been.

Of yellow leaves and gossamer, in autumns that were there,

With morning mist and silver sun, and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think, of how the world will be.

When winter comes without a Spring, that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things, that I have never seen,

In every wood and every Spring, there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think, of people long ago.

And people who will see a world, that I will never know.

But all the while I sit and think,

Of times that were before.

I listen for returning feet,

And voices at my Door.

Sometimes in total stillness the loudest sound we hear is the beating of our hearts.

In those moments your are experiencing life---Cherish it.

...From Walt...

Blind striving of the human heart, rather, Onward..onward it saith, and where beauty leads, there it follows.
Whether it be the tinkle of a lone sheep bell O'er some quiet landscape, or the glimmer of beauty in some sylvan places, or the suns fire on the pounding surf, or the winds of time speaking secrets to long passed forests, or the tear shed by or souls as we gaze to the birth-places of our ancestors, or the smile on an unknown childs face, or the show of soul in some passing eyes; the heart knows, and makes answer following.

It is when the feet are weary and vanity appears everywhere, that the heart-aches and longings rise.
Know then that for you may never be surfiet in these things nor possibly content.

In your rocking chair by your window, may you know such happiness as you may ever feel, and may thoughts and "pictures" in the mind of good friends like me, bring a smile to your face, and an occasional tear to your eye.
And help in that happiness, in any way that it can.

Forever and always, a True Friend......Walt

If I could capture one dream time it would be spent in my youth--of summers throwing baseballs and running footballs, of innocence and exhileration of the coming of the day.

In new fallen snow,--Do not walk in the prints of others so much. Leave your prints on the face of the earth, so that others may see the right direction.

Epilogue

waterfall
Dedication to: And Written by / Ed Chilquist / A Friend

I'm special. In all the world there is nobody like me. Since the beginning of time, there has never been another like me.

Nobody has my smile. No body has my eyes, my nose, my hands, my hair, my voice. I'm special.

In all of time there has been no one who laughs like me, no one who cries like me. And what makes me laugh and cry will never provoke identical laughter and tears from anybody else, ever.

I'm the only in all of creation who has my set of abilities. Oh, there will always be someone who is better at one of the things I'm good at, but no one in the universe can reach the quality of my combination of talents, ideas, abilities and feelings.

Through all of eternity no one will look, talk, walk, think or do like me. I'm special. I'm rare.

And as is in all rarity, there is great value. Because of my great rare value, I need not attempt to imitate others. I will accept---yes, celebrate---my differences.

I'm special. I'm beginning to see that God made me special for a very special purpose. He must have a job for me that no one else can do so well as I. Out of all the billions of people, only one is qualified, only one has the right combination of what it takes.

That one is me. Because---I'M SPECIAL.

Brook Trout
"Brook Trout":by Roger Cruwys

Giving

It is not so much the gift, but the act of giving and the thought behind it, that is important. Who first said that phrase, I do not know, but it all makes sense to me now.

I don't remember the year..but I do remember the time. It was opening day of trout season and I rolled over to say that I was ready..precisely at the instant that you touched my shoulder to awaken me. I don't now remember the coldness of lineoleum on bare feet, although I know it was there. I'd follow the aroma of coffee, toast, bacon, and eggs wafting from the kitchen where you had made breakfast before coming to wake me.

We made small talk or you'd tell Tall tales along the way from Dayton to Willamina and beyond..to a stretch of water above Cub Drakes place, that we called our own.

We'd always arrive too early, so we'd sit in the car and sip steamimg hot coffee..always with cream and sugar..and nibble a cookie or a piece of sandwich from the lunch bag in the back seat. We'd wait for enough light to see, and then walk down to the water to exclaim,"We'll catch 'em today!"

I never really understood why we said that, because the fish were always there. Whether the water was too high and muddy, or too clear..we'd fish it anyway.

It must have been the excitement of opening day of trout season and the companionship of Father and Son.

There is something special about the sound of a Colorado spinner breaking water. It's leader and hook held tightly in the jaws of a frantic and powerful cut-throat trout. The bells they tolled were a continual enjoyment to me and a constant reminder, of where Dad was...above or below me.

They were also a tally sheet of sorts..and I could tell when you had netted another. It was the competitive bell reminding me to improve and to catch up.

Later we'd compare fish lying on beds of wet moss and grasses at the bottom of two soggy bamboo creels. We'd swap a few lies about the big ones that got away by breaking our eight pound leaders! And yet somehow the fun wasn't in the actual catching.

There were other times too, of course. Reverand Welchel, who frantically tried to find his license for the Game Warden, which was all contrived, but traumatic for the Reverand when he couldn't find it.

Remember stepping into the creek below Cub Drakes place and catching a racoon busily washing his breakfast of fresh-water muscles in the riffle below us? And always knowing that we could pull two fat fish from the pocket below the knarled and overhanging pine, that hid that special place.

It was never so much the catching, as the fishing. Never so much the taking, as the giving of time shared.

There were many other opening days of fly rods and high mountain lakes. The brook trout hidden there would suck in imitations perched on the surface film, of such lakes as Scott, Booth, Tenas, Martin, Mitchell, and many others. The fish in general, weren't large, but were willing and fun to catch.

The biggest fish I ever saw in Booth lake..rocketed clear of the water next to my partners imitation..and promptly took a dragonfly that was hovering a foot above the water. Dad would have caught him too, had it not been for the convulsuive jerk, that landed fly, line, and leader, in the pine tree behind us! I don't know whether a fish of that size would have lived through the set of the hook on that day anyhow!

We slept once on the ground beneath a large tree on the shore of Booth lake. Actually we laid there listening to the hum of mosquitoes and the sounds of deer hooves resonating through the ground of the near-by meadow. Spam and potatoes never tasted so good over an open fire the next morning. The lake had been winter killed and there weren't many catchable fish.

But it wasn't so much the catching, as the fishing. Never so much the taking, as the giving!

There are hundreds of memories that you have given me over the years. It all came rushing back to me this summer..though it had really never left. It was just tucked inside. Perched in a small boat on Philbrook lake, we watched Canadas lazily drifting among the stumps of that wonderous place. There were scores of big browns busting the film, although we couldn't get any to take. Later as dusk approached, you said,"Dave, look at that beautiful sunset!"

And somehow it didn't matter anymore whether we caught any of those cruising brown trout...we would have released them anyway!

Still it wasn't so much the catching, as the fishing. Never so much the taking, as the giving. And never the time spent, as the time shared.

Thanks Dad.


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