The Bright Side Of Tragedy

The Bright Side Of Tragedy

Andy Dear | Monday, 14 August 2023

"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that’s not quite it. What happens is that you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they’re just not such a big deal anymore."

---John Gierach

  I've always admired John Geirach's ability to wax philosophical about the human condition and its receptiveness to the calming effect that angling can provide. Those of us who are drawn to this art form are aware of what it can do for us, but for my money, Mr. Geirach articulates it better than anyone else. Last week I experienced this firsthand. Mind you, it certainly wasn't the first time, and I am damn sure it won't be the last, but I am always amazed at the profound effect that a good day on the water can have on one's ability to deal with the tragedy that often defines human existence.

  Without going into detail with a long list of "woe is me" life events, let's just say that the last 365 days have been filled with tragedies ranging from job loss to serious health issues, and the death of family member. The week before last I decided to take a short overnight trip don to Powderhorn Lake for a brief reprieve from the seemingly constant state of chaos that has defined the last year. I threw the kayak in the truck and headed south, hoping the wind prediction of 2-3 knots the following morning would be true. Unable to sleep, I woke up at 4 am and stepped outside the cabin to check the wind....still blowing 12-15. I resolved myself to the fact that this may trip may have turned into nothing more than a sightseeing expedition, and laid back down to sleep. Fortunately for me, I had forgotten to turn off my alarm, and at 6 am it went off. I took a brief peek outside, and as predicted the wind had dropped to nothing.

  I quickly threw the kayak in the water, and less than 100 meters from the ramp got into the fish. At first, it was intermittent, but as the tide moved through, at one point it was almost every cast. As the morning progressed and the tide leveled out, the bite turned off. I ended the morning with a total of 9 Redfish and four Flounder in less than 2 was a banner day, to say the least. And, I was back at the local taqueria eating breakfast by 9 am, but with a deeper perspective on how angling fits into my life.
For me, angling has been, and always will be the one constant that I can rely on. It's always never leaves, it never disappoints, and it never betrays. Jobs may come and go, family members may get sick and pass away, friends may betray trust, but the one thing we can all count on is the peace of knowing that this great art form is always there to provide peace and tranquility in times of chaos and uncertainty and tragedy.

Hope you all are having a great week,