Today I had the pleasure of fishing with my favorite fishing buddy. I floated a local flow and fished as hard as I could for 11 hours, caught a few fish and cleared my mind. I didn't hear a negative word and I didn't see another person... I like to fish alone.
I've spent countless hours roaming creeks and woods by myself since I was a kid and I guess I've grown accustomed to it. I like the solitude and peace that goes along with that but I also crave the challenge of accomplishing a several night solo camping trip complete with weird sounds in the night and all the other creepy things that may go through your mind. I like that fear, I also like squashing it. I have realized that most of the things I've been warned of that created fear are false...usually old folk tales or stories passed down that were originally told to keep folks off of a mountain that held a precious whiskey still or simply told by someone ignorant of nature. "Lions and tigers and snakes...oh my!"
Enough of that...here are some things that are only OK to do when you're fishing alone but will definitely draw unwanted attention among other fishermen.
-get hung up in a tree
-set the hook on a stump
-mix canned tuna with my instant mashed potatoes.
- forgo the day of fishing to wade through the bramble and thickets of a creek bottom to pick pawpaws
***last but not least***
-while camping I can snore all I want.
My favorite time of year to fish and camp is the dead of winter. I like when my face is chilled by the cold wind. I love the sound of snow landing on my hammock's tarp, the crackle of an essential campfire, the deathly quite the winter woods have and to be honest ...trout taste best in winter. I love the challenge of finding fish in 38 degree water then trying to catch them, it's almost as challenging as finding another human that equally enjoys these same things.
So what benefits does all of this give me that being in company can't? Besides the challenge of fending for myself, it offers solitude and in solitude is where I'm closest to God. When you are free of petty fear, can stop talking and pay attention... nature can speak in a spectacular way. My idea of the perfect place has no negativity, fear or hate and I've only been able to find it...alone in the woods. It is "High Church!"