Have you ever had one of those days on the river that transported you to a different dimension? Not every day of fly fishing is a day of mystique, but through the years, we’ve had special moments that are burned into our memory. It’s not merely about catching lots of fish or hooking into a monster. In this episode, we attempt to describe the emotion or experience of mystique, that magical time when time is suspended and fly fishing becomes something more than fishing.
LISTEN NOW TO Days of Mystique on the River
GREAT STUFF FROM OUR LISTENERS. At the end of each episode, we often include a feature called “Great Stuff from Our Listeners.” It’s the last segment of each episode, where Steve reads one of the comments from our listeners or readers. We enjoy hearing from you, and appreciate your advice, wisdom, and fly fishing experiences.
We’d love to hear about a day of mystique on the river that you’ve had. Please post your comments below.
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6 Replies to “S4:E30 Days of Mystique on the River”
Enjoyed your Mystique episode.
Every trip to a river puts me in what the Celts called a “thin place”, a place that knocks me out of the material world and gives me a glimpse of the other side. I can almost measure the width of thin places with a ruler, they’re 3 feet or less, and sometimes a razor’s edge. They connect the temporal with the divine. I wander along my thin places with a sense of awe and wonder and I’m unable to suck it all in (Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic echoes in my ear).
When I hook up with a fish heaven and earth are connected and the fight to net takes me from one side of the thin place to another. Which has a stronger pull? Which way will the fish go on release? I wish I knew.
The metaphor works for me.
Just wow. Love the “thin place” metaphor. Really powerful.
The Celts had a deep spirituality.
I really enjoyed listening to your Mystique podcast as I drove to the stream yesterday. It reminded me of a thought I often have while standing in the creek. When you set foot into a stream you are connected to all the flowing water in the world. Since all of that water is making its way to the oceans you are linked through them to fellow fly fishers in Montana, Alaska, Tennessee, Patagonia, Slovenia, and on the Test and Itchen in England, as well as to your buddy 100 yards downstream. It’s just a bit of food for thought.
Thanks, Tom! This is terrific food for thought. Sounds a little bit like Norman Maclean at the end of “A River Runs through It.”
Mystique on the River
A river can take on a sense of mystique from one’s personal history with the place.
On the last several trips to Yellowstone country, I have ended the trip on Tower Creek in the northern part of the Park. This is by no means my favorite fishing spot in the Park. The scenery is not as dramatic as, say, the Lamar Valley, and it certainly does not have any sizable trout. However, the place is special to me because of what has become an annual ritual.
Every year on the last day of the trip on the drive back to the cabin to pack up, I stop for an hour or so at a particular stretch of this stream. It is always good for a brookie or two; sometimes there is an evening BWO hatch with rising trout. More importantly, this is where I say farewell to this beautiful part of the country and mentally prepare for the transition back to the “real world.” Sitting on a boulder next to the stream I think about highlights of the week spent outdoors, thank God for the opportunity to experience the glory of His creation, and reflect on life.
So this little bit of water – really just a few pockets with a few small trout – has mystique for me. In the depths of the northern Indiana winter, I often think back on those lovely moments on that mystical water.
Love the podcast.
Steve in Indiana
I love your comment, Steve! Yes, we know exactly what you mean by having to say farewell to this beautiful part of the country and then transition back to life in the Midwest. Like you, we’re always grateful to God for the chance to experience the glory of his creation and reflect on life. There’s no better place for reflection, in my opinion, than on the river (or stream).
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