Check out the new 'Salmo Saxtilis' fly rods designed by Ken Abrames in the stripermoon store.
I will place those hobnails on my feet and walk those hallowed paths to where the ocean meets me at its edge.
This year, I will fish a little more because if I do not I will have regret.
This year, I will find more of that patience I hear so much about and I will try to hold it close and not let it go.
This year, I will remember that what is mine came from the sharing and the giving of others who were here before. I will give with this in mind.
This year, in autumn, I will sit by the ocean somewhere and watch the Monarch butterflies land on the water with their wings outstretched as they rest on their epic journey. And be amazed as they launch themselves off the water with a flick of their wings and fly away renewed.
This year, I will fish for treasures for my memory to hold and savor. Myths and dreams 'til touched, not held.
This year, I'll watch the worms. The swimming worms, that are so vibrant and alive. So full of purpose as they swim in circles and zig and zag and steady course. The worms will come and I will see them in the spring and yes in July and September too. There is no one place and time to see them swim. They are not one but many.
This year, this spring I will watch the tiny herring as they swim in the company of elvers. The blue eel and glass minnow time of early spring and late winter. And the eels will leave on their journey to the streams and the herring will remain. Turning from their crystal camouflage to prism scales and lengthening from tiny thread to pinky finger size by June when they are outbound to sea. I will watch them as they grow unseen, hidden from all casual eyes.
This year, I will look at life, at living things as fellow beings and let myself imagine what life would be like if they were not here and wonder if that life would be living or passing through.
This year, I will watch the small crustaceans. The unseen hidden strength of life that rises on each new moon to mate and spawn and fill the sea with living unseen energy. On each new moon they swarm and, "My Oh My!" The stripers come to see them too. And in the winter, the pollock come, the cod and herring, too.
This year, I'll fish the sand beaches more on that stretch from Jerusalem to Watch Hill. I say this every year and this year I will be there more. I will see those fish this year that never swim beyond this stretch of shore. I'll fish the break, the bars, The runnins and the slots. I'll see these beaches as they are. I'll fish the rocky places, too, but with an eye to see their strong connection to the beaches current flows. And perhaps I'll recognize the tell tale signs of most abundance, perhaps this year I will.
This year, although the old men who I knew are gone. I will remember them. The twinkle in their eye, the gentle spirit of giving to one who wanted more. Their patience as the truth unfolded not to the passer byes' but only to those who waited for its unfolding. The ocean's secrets are not quick or shallow based. Thank you for that knowing. You patient old men who waited for me so I could see.
This year, I am no longer young or middle aged and yet, the blood flows strong. I am seeking that which comes by saying yes to that which comes, instead of no; disguised as waiting for a special time that never comes. Before I can no longer walk those beaches late at night and some peculiar fear that has not tested my resolve appears or rocks prove to be a hindrance to my steps I will go. I will place those hobnails on my feet and walk those hallowed paths to where the ocean meets me at its edge. Oh yes I will! I will. And that special striper, that special one, perhaps tonight and if not, again I'll go and just for the going - I will go.
This year, I'll cast my flies not one, but two or three and hope as I must do that they will be seen and touched by those unseen beings that live beneath the surface of the sea. And why? I do not know and still I go. It is a deep and ancient mystery of man to do this thing and go and touch and trust to those unseen forces that do bring the fish, that being, and me, this being, together. It is not chance for me but mystery and life and harmony.
This year, I will listen to men tell each other stories. I will smile for the hearing and wish them well. And every now and then I'll find a story of my own and share it too with whom I will and smile for the telling. I'll tell some tales both long and short, both true and tall. All tales are true and some did truly happen as all storytellers know- the stories are quite true and, "Once upon a time," is what makes them so.
Today, this year, I do give thanks for all the years that string together in a dance that is my life. My life steps are but a dance. I give thanks to the power that is life itself flowing in and through my living in its gift of being. I give thanks for this breath of mine. A gift that breathes in every being that ever was and is alive. The gift of life is all we have and it is for the living.
I think I'm going fishing.