Afternoon fishing in pursuit of the simple moment
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

July 20, 2014

Walking along the barbwire fence, I feel the hard stiff grass crunch below my bare feet. Fly rod in hand, I make my way along the fence under the cotton wood trees lining the small creek in Chama. The sunlight splinters on the leaves above, cascading in quick beams as the wind plays in the trees. I make my way over a rise and reaching the crest, a mother and baby deer take off. I stand and watch. As their nerves calm, their movement becomes more playful while they spring away. The mother turns to check on me. Content with the distance between us, she slows to a walk, and continues to move away.

Making my way down to the creek, the cool water feels nice against the skin. Carefully moving over slippery rocks, I move towards a small pool just above me. Using a barbless dry fly, I swing my arm back and forth over my head. Line plays out in a rolling arc, before the fly drops at the far end of the pool. Floating momentarily, a white flash comes up from below. The surface explodes and the line goes tight. Surprised by my luck, I try to pull line in. It is too late though. The fish is free and darts back into the depths. It is a challenge using barbless hooks, but a better deal for the fish. I recast a few times. On the 3rd cast, another fish hits my line. Keeping the rod tip up now, I move the fish towards me. I reach down, grab the rainbow and gently remove the hook. Holding it facing up-stream, he glides back and forth in my hand. His red dots along his lateral line show brightly in contrast to his dark green dorsal color. The fish more eager now, tries to swim away. I slowly release my grip and with the feeling of freedom, it gradually moves forward back towards his pool.

I stand and watch and then make my way upstream. Small gardener snakes move off my path into the bushes. No cars, no trucks, planes, sirens, or chaos associated with words like progress, business, or work can be found here. Only the quiet hum of hummingbirds and nature’s dance throughout the valley as the sun moves across the sky. The wind picks up again and I stop from time to time to listen. With all the movement of our times, the simple things in life seem to elude us. As we pursue, the simple moments increasingly fade into the background…effortlessly. It is a good reminder to stop and listen, to enjoy the one thing present throughout our daily lives… that very unassuming and present simple moment. And although tomorrow brings promises of work, sirens, and chaos, I intend to seek out the simple moments as they quietly present themselves. Making my way back to the cabin, I’m off to locate a big cottonwood tree, if only to lie underneath its shade and count the dancing leaves.

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