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Moments of Perfection


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Ronan's report

Sunday March 6th 2011

We all get them, I hope.

It might be the perfect cast unrolling in perfect tension and in seeming slo-mo, a fine mist of water showering from the line and glistening in the sunlight.

It might be just knowing that a fish is going to rise to your fly, its nose breaking the surface right on cue.

Or it could be the last wave of a big tail returning to the depths, and then stillness: you with arms wet to your elbow and a silly grin.

What happens next though? You're still grinning for sure, probably will be for at least a few hours, possibly days. But also there's a slight emptiness: a tiny niggling edge of sadness that the moment couldn't last. How could it? How long can you balance on the point of such a finely honed and polished summit?

Is that what we fish for/live for? Those fleeting moments - sparking states of grace that flash and disappear almost as soon as you're aware of them.

You'd think so wouldn't you? After all it's moments like these that fill our books and TV screens. Those flag-planting, air-punching, high-fiving, crescendos. Everything else is just filler.

These moments of perfection are so ephemeral you can sometimes wonder if they actually really happened at all. How would you know they happened without the non-euphoric moments either side? If a mountain was all peaks and no sides, how would you know you'd reached the top?

Could that perfect cast exist without the dozens of ordinary ones that preceded it? Does the perfect rise exist without the missed hook-ups and no-shows? And is it only the lost leviathans that make the final triumphant release worthwhile?


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