There was a stream. It could’ve been called either a stream or a river and probably was by different people. But it was there, and so I fished it. I didn’t know what was in it, so I fished it. It was wet, and so I fished it. I owned a fly rod and had the flies and everything to go with it, so there was no reason not to fish it. So I fished it.
It was convenient. It went right through the town. It wasn’t flowing through anything like a National Geographic Magazine cover, this was just some local creek passing houses and under bridges, and through little patches of woods where I could still hear traffic and see the roof tops of brick buildings through the branches and leaves. Rounded, weathered red bricks did their best to blend into the creek bed, smooth and egg shaped like the stones they lay with under the current. But they didn’t blend at all. They were red. I suppose if I were color blind, they might’ve looked more natural. Maybe. I’ve never been color blind so I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t afford the time or the money to travel to some far-off landscape to chase monster Patagonian trout, but I passed this creek, spotted it on the drive, and it was there. So I fished it.
More than once the scenario has played out. And more than once it paid off. Technically, every time. Even not finding any fish meant I at least found out. I can’t always be where I’d like to be, but to ignore waters close to home just because they aren’t as pretty as I like them to be seems like missing opportunities all the same these days. I’ve missed enough in my life. We all have.
I’d rather be fishing some remote brook trout stream up in the Adirondacks or back on the Devils River in Texas on most days, but it’s not possible to always go where I wish I was. So I go where I can. Graffiti under a bridge as I cast and drift a fly might not be a warm breeze through the pines, but it’s still an experience on a creek. While I’m out doing it there’s a million people at home wishing they were somewhere fishing and wondering why they’re always depressed while they’re on a couch watching other people live their lives on YouTube and Tic Toc and all the other social media black holes. While the world goes to hell, I go to fish. Wherever I can. Whenever I can. There’s water, sometimes pretty, sometimes not. So I fish it.
You can’t always fish where you want to, but there’s always somewhere to fish.
Mark Usyk has just released his third book; Not All trout Are Geniuses. It can be found on Amazon or it's also available here on the JP Ross Fly Rods web site, signed by the author. His message in his third book is loud and clear...You weren't born to just pay bills and die. Someone has to do the fishing.