Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It had been a long time since I'd connected with a steelhead and I found myself, once again, wondering if I might never catch another one of those beautiful, wild creatures. The same feeling comes over me when I haven't written a new poem in a while. Be grateful for the fish and poems you landed, I tell myself. Count your blessings. At a certain point, though, there's no consolation. I need to write a poem, catch a steelhead.

Last week, I went back to square one: the sketch book en plein air. Drawing always gets me seeing again which starts me writing again. Once I'm seeing and writing I start hearing and tasting and feeling, intensely, again. My senses renewed, I wrote a new poem. I needed that poem even more than I thought I did.

This morning, at first light, I went back to square one for a steelhead: spey rod rigged with a Scandi head and floating polyleader, a soft-hackle fly swung down and across on my local waters. Once I find the rhythm of casting, swinging, and stepping downstream, I start reading the water again, seeing and feeling those soft spots that hold steelhead. Once again, I learn to trust the process.