Oh the places you’ll go

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And
you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll
decide where to go.
You’ll get mixed up,
of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with
many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great
tact and remember that
Life’s A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)Dr. Seuss

The Truckee River, so many memories

As I drive back into town from my long journey, I look around at the familiar sights. There is nothing quite like a California sunset. It’s not quite dark as I drive through town, so I head down the the river across the street from my childhood home and take a walk. I notice small things that have changed since I was here over two months ago; the long grass is tall and I can run my fingers through it as I walk, the flows are lower and the water is warmer. A bit of the bank here and there has given way to erosion as well. But mostly it has stayed the same; an ever constant in my life.

I sit on the bank and just watch the river that nurtured me and taught me so much in my early days of fishing. So much was accomplished here, so many things learned. Lessons that had taken me on the journey of a lifetime. As I soak in the orange and pink sunset and then the moonlight,  I reflect on the places I had been all summer, the great people I met, the time I spent flying solo and what I had learned about myself.

On my own for the majority of the trip, I enjoyed a quiet bliss that is impossible to explain, but easy to regonize in others. There were also moments that I was terrifed of the unknown and isolated by my singularity. But cliche as it sounds, the more I fished and explored, the more muted these feelings became and were replaced by a silent calmness and acceptance of living in the present.

Always a challenge for me to not dwell on the past or worry about the future; fly fishing has taught me to rule these faults and enjoy the moment of each cast and fish at the end of my line. Before I embarked on this trip, I had expected to catch tons of fish and meet wonderful people. I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be one of those people I became acquainted with among the streams and mountains.

The majestic Grand Tetons

With my return to the real world and responsibility, I have found that the calmness starts to slip away, first slowly and then in a rushing tide. My arrival back home signaled to me that it was time to start another adventure. Now it is time for me to find a new place in the world. Leaving much of my old life behind, this fall and winter I go in search of steelhead and a place where I can fish every day and even surf ocasionally; return to the wild places that sooth my spirit.

San Lorenzo River, I shall miss this place where I fell in love with steelhead.

The San Lorenzo River; home for such a long time! I shall miss the place where I fell in love with steelhead and surfing.

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3 thoughts on “Oh the places you’ll go

  1. Liked your blog Leslie! Sounds like you are on some of the same path I started over 25 years ago. Born and raised on Seabright in Santa Cruz. I grew up surfing and playing volleyball in Santa Cruz. After my first month at Cal Poly I fell in love with fly fishing and the beautiful places it takes me. Belize, Yukatan, Ontario Boundry waters, tribs of the Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia are fantastic places to get lost. Here are a few things I have learned from this way of life… There are no straight lines to fishing destinations, it’s not about the fish anymore and trout do not live in ugly places. Keep up the excellent writing and go to BC! It was amazing! Cheers- Mac

  2. This is an awesome post with some very inspiring photos! I want to compliment your writing and let you know how it inspires me, as a fellow fly fisherman and adventure blogger, to get out there and cast some flies! Cheers and Venture on.

  3. Well written, well done. I grew up on the San Lorenzo in the 1940’s and following years with a house on the river just above Fall Creek Hole and occasionally search the internet to see what is happening. I recall hiking back up out of the gorge in those days with steelhead around 18#’. It is good to hear that some fish are still there. I now fly fish other rivers in Northern California and in Alaska and “catch and release”. I will always remember the San Lorenzo.

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