Kirk Werner once stated that he didn’t want to introduce anybody to steelheading, because he didn’t want to be responsible for the emotional and financial ruin that may follow. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I understood his warning.
Granted, I wasn’t in the Pacific Northwest. Nor was I anywhere near a river with a run of fall chrome. Rather I was up on “The Mile”, swinging hookless Scandi lines, learning to throw a two-handed rod for the first time. A transformative experience that has consumed me since breaking down the borrowed rod, opening up something I was afraid to admit was inside of me. Hooks or not, broken D-Loops and all.
The rip of line off of the water is on an endless loop in my mind, as perfect casts roll effortlessly out into the abyss of unknown water and spirit. The tug of shadowed shoulders can be felt in workless daydreams, as two more steps have been taken in search. And it’s no wonder why fiercely bearded men reappear in small town diners for bowls of soup and smuggled whiskey. But as quickly as the appear, they return to the river, where they wade stoically as ghosts. These men and women are far gone to the drug, swinging on a pendulum between sane and permanently out there.
I haven’t even thrown a fly.
And as I watch social media’s unpatchable drip from my computer screen, I write this as my first admission of guilt. An admission that may or may not lead to emotional or financial instability, but rather an admission to myself, that I recognize a problem.
Thanks Grant and Jin, I’ll be sending you the bill. For all of it…
I’m all in.