Monday, January 9, 2012

A Curious Game


Frozen tears cling tightly to each of the nine guides as the line is picked off of the water. A reel that was full of life an hour earlier, has become shocked by the cold and no longer spools. And the thought of a fish cracks a wry smile, as you realize that any tug at the end of the line will become an unintended leap into the world of Tenkara. Toes march slowly hidden under boots and wool, as fingers struggle to hold onto a rod that might crack on the next backcast. The normally bright water looks black, casting spells that taunt what’s left of any confidence you may have, teasing you back to a couch, warmth, and "Wild Cards".

But like any puzzle you stay, you stay until the last piece has been laid. You relent to a stubborn gene that was never explained to you, probably for the same reasons you won’t explain it to your children. You succumb to the fact that one fish is more important than any other digit, justifying something you can’t verbalize.  You drift precariously between seen and unseen, known and unknown. While neatly tied flies carry repetitive hope, a hope that is drowned to moving shadows that decide irrelevant reality.

You play your last card of the day as you drive in silence, quietly watching the moon replace whatever is left of the dropping sun. The heat is a foreign luxury as you struggle to keep heavy eyes open, and your thoughts flow back to the water from which you just left. And as dotted yellow lines run together in empty miles, the winner is decided.

38 comments:

  1. A gorgeous picture! I turned off the music the other day as I drove home from the river...it gave me more time to reflect on what scenery was out there to enjoy...eloquently written, Sanders!

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  2. Perfect explanation sir and fantastic-o writing! Let's do it again!

    P.S. Fantastico is spanish for fantastic, I learned that yesterday on the river.

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  3. This is a wonderful, delicate piece of writing. What are you, a Nancy boy?

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  4. Ignore that ass-hat, Roderick Hawg-Brown, Sanders. This entry is just affirmation as to why I voted for you (25 times) over at the OBN. Great stuff- stay the course.

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  5. Makes me cold just reading about that trip , I had to fill up the coffee cup twice just to finish! Great piece as always.....Jeff

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  6. really nice, sanders. You may have just solidified my decision to drive the 4 hours to find some trout this weekend. I might just owe you one.

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  7. glad someone is stoking the fires this winter, gotta get out there~ mike

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  8. "'Curiouser and curiouser' cried Alice."

    Loved it.

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  9. Sanders
    Very well written about a place that we all relate to. Thanks for sharing

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  10. Wonderful photo.
    It tell of solitude and peace.

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  11. RD- Thanks! Sometimes there is no better music than your surroundings. It's amazing what we discover when we take the time to pay attention.

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  12. BCFN- !Fantastico mi amigo! Had a great time as well...we'll be back

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  13. Roderick- I Spent the day looking for you, but when you didn't show up, I had to improvise. I'll be back...and I'll bring the bacon

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  14. Kirk- I appreciate your steadfast support...especially when "ass-hats" like Roderick decide to chime in...that brown trout jerk!

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  15. Jeff- Thanks! I'm glad this post helped to get you properly caffeinated...Cheers!

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  16. d nash- Thanks...make the trip, you won't regret it! looking forward to hearing about it, it would be nice to hear about someone catching fish :-)

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  17. Mike- It was awesome to be out despite the cold. It had been way too long, I highly recommend an outing.

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  18. Erin- Ha! Curiouser indeed...Glad you enjoyed :-)

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  19. Bill- Thanks. I was hoping it was a place that some of us could relate to. I guess fishing is simply just a moving target. Some good, some bad, some warm, some cold, and everywhere in between.

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  20. Brk Trt- Thanks. I thought that photo described the day pretty well. It was the only time that day that I was in the right spot...ha

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  21. Lessons learned...or maybe not..It is time...

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  22. Go Sanders! You've nailed winter fishing in a couple paragraphs.

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  23. Very nice, my friend... very nice.

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  24. "...you realize that any tug at the end of the line will become an unintended leap into the world of Tenkara." I know this situation all to well. It sneaks up on me out of nowhere, but never related it to Tenkara. Well done Sanders. Another great one.

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  25. Dean- It is just the ongoing process of this addiction.

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  26. Jason- Thanks! There is a fine line between fishing to simply fish, or fishing because you can. I'll take either scenario.

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  27. Ivan- Thanks! Who knew Tenkara could be so cold...but like the picture (ice in the guides) in your most recent post, Tenkara does have a way of sneaking up on us, whether we want it to or not...

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  28. your raising the bar for outdoor writers everywhere... damn, time to up my game

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  29. Blake- Thanks. I really appreciate the kind words.

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  30. I love your writing style. Thanks for the great read! Great picture as well!

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  31. Bill- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

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  32. That Tenkara trick is a sweet one. :). Nice piece. I'm going searching for that mood tomorrow.

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    1. Steve- Thanks. I hope you had some success, and your rod doesn't succumb to the cold temptation to become a tenkara...

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  33. Excellent post my friend. Sometimes the sun being replaced by the moon can be a good thing, in the middle of winter not so much :) Great photo too. Tight lines.

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    1. Trout- Thanks! I agree, I like the sun a lot more in winter....ha!

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  34. Nice piece Sanders, dare I say eloquent in light of at least one "ass-hat" lurking here! Keep it up, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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    1. Craig- Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate it. I'm going to start using "ass-hat"...classic!

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