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Ronan's report

Wednesday 27th January, 2010

It's going on a month since I've fished for steelhead, and it isn't because of bad weather or water conditions, outside obligations, or other fishing trips to exotic lands. I haven't been going because, honestly, I haven't really felt like it.

Trading in the hardcore winter steelhead routine has had some unexpected and interesting consequences. Without the typical obsessive compulsive checking of river levels, rain forecasts, and freezing elevations I've had time to focus on other things during the week. Without the paranoia of keeping my entire weekend schedule clear of plans and obligations on the outside chance that some small coastal stream might come into shape and fill up with fish, I've been able to make other plans. I've been reading some amazing books (not about steelhead fishing), watching some great movies (not about steelhead fishing), tying some flies (that aren't for steelhead), spending time with some good friends (that don't all fish), playing pickup basketball (which isn't anything like fishing at all), and going skiing (up and down hills, not into some river to fish for steelhead).

I've had a lot on my mind the last few months. All of this sort of hit me like a ton of bricks when I wasn't even looking (I was probably too busy trying to spot a fish). Today, as I was sitting inside a warm, dry house, drinking some hot tea, and talking to my best friend, I didn't have the tiniest desire to be anywhere else. I know the steelhead are out there. My friends are catching them. The bloggers are writing and posting pictures. I guess just knowing they are out there has been enough to satisfy me lately.

So, what does it all mean? I know I'm not giving up on fishing for good. I like it too much to do that, and it will always in some way define a part of who I am. What I'm looking for these days is a balance. The ability to see things in a new way. It turns out there are a lot of experiences that I've probably missed out on in the past because I was too focused on one single goal.

Less time spent fishing, but more meaningful and satisfying time on the water that will hopefully lead to more meaningful and satisfying time off the water. All this is a bit strange coming from me, and I don't know for sure if I can achieve my newest goal. But, I feel happy and confident so far. And without confidence, you aren't likely to catch anything, no matter what it is you are fishing for. Right?

Be Well & Fish On,

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