Adirondack Reasoning by Mark Usyk

The hike in was more of an impatient trot. I only had so much time for fishing today, and the drive up had taken an hour and a half as it was. In clumsy waders and with a whippy fly rod I hurried down the trail, the sound of the water coming and going as the trail passed close to the creek and then veered away again more than once. Finally the trail ended at the small set of falls, and after my first cast, my hurried state of mind slowed to a speed of “Just right.”

The olive Wollybugger tumbled in the turbulence then washed out into the current flowing from the falls. Not a flash, but the darting of something dark and fishy as the line went tight. Black pit eyes and fins trimmed in white. If God is real, then this is what he wants me to do, because it feels so right. If it’s all because of luck, then some days it’s better to be lucky than good. Whatever the reasons, I’ll take it.

As I travel upstream the thought enters my mind that I may have been born a couple hundred years too late. There is nothing here to suggest people. Not so much as a beer can laying on the ground, not so much as tangled fishing lines in the tree branches. People, in general, are lazy. The lack of any evidence of humans in this place proves it to me. People would rather drive to a local river or lake and fish not 20 feet from the car, only to leave their trash where they stood because it’s too much to carry it back to the car. Out here, I realize that I’m glad most people are lazy. It leaves places like this for me to enjoy on my own in peace.

Out here. Up here. The Adirondacks. The trees. The rocks. The mountains. The waters. The wild Brook Trout waits for me. My 3wt like the divining rod my grandfather used to dig wells, only slightly less accurate on pointing out the locations of the fish than his was at finding water. How can I be so disconnected from everything so far away out here, up here, yet be so connected at the same time? We all have the answer to the meaning of life in us, we just haven’t learned to read it yet. I’m learning. At 39 years old and counting…I’m learning.