Last summer while on vacation, we introduced ourselves to the world of fly fishing. We were in the Rangeley region of Maine, which has an incredibly rich fly fishing history, so we certainly chose the right place to learn.
We visited the Rangeley Region Sport Shop to get outfitted and schedule time with our guide (and shop owner), Brett. Bright and early on our last day of vacation we headed deep into the woods and learned to fly fish. What a fantastic experience it was. From Brett's firm yet gentle tutoring to the peace and beauty of the deep woods - it was awesome. And, for anyone who thought I'd never do something like this.... here you go.
This year, we went to the shop as soon as we arrived in the area - before we even checked into our cabin - to set our time with Brett. We both had shiny new fly rods to use and we were looking forward to getting out. Again, we chose the last day of vacation - what better way to end our time in this wonderful place?
Jill came with us and we had another awesome day. Weather - location - company ... could not have been better. And...we all caught (& released) fish! Just a note - when you head out to enjoy nature, make sure you're with someone who has a deep love and respect for it, because it will make all the difference. Brett clearly loves nature and the woods and what he's doing. Each of us caught fish and he carefully showed us how to remove the hooks and release the fish without harming them. I'm not sure if he's aware of this, but each time he released a fish, he gave it a couple of gentle pats....it is a kind and beautiful and respectful gesture.
While we were fishing, I found myself almost in a trance (disturbed only by the black flies and mosquitos). I wasn't thinking about anything or speaking to anyone or focused on anything other than my task and was completely present in the miracle of the moment - something that doesn't happen often enough. The other time it does often happen is when I'm at church. I'm just there...enjoying the miracle of the moment.
When we finished up, I commented to Brett that it was so peaceful, it felt like church. His response, "yeah - if church had black flies". It was the perfect response because, for me, it was a combination of elements - fly fishing, peace, my family, the miracles all around me, black flies and salmon and brook trout - that made it perfect.
The woods and getting close to nature and fly fishing aren't for everyone, but they work for me. If you think that you can't find peace - I say to you - sure you can, you just have to be willing to look for it.