Rivers and Friends

by | Oct 28, 2020 | 10 comments

My best friends are all fishermen. Looking back over four decades, I see the trend, and it’s those souls who’ve shared the woods and water who are closest to my heart. Our time on the water bonds. It sews meaningful friendships. Shared exploration brings us together as we search for new paths — for freedom to roam and find our way. Then we’re anxious to share these discoveries with one another.

Trust is built upon these waters — we have deeper faith in river friends, and we’re stronger for the common adventures, side by side. Time and water merge, and friendships grow from the union. It’s here that we share success, or we find failure and confusion together. Ghost-trout plant new mysteries with their absence, and the common goal of solving new puzzles keeps our interactions alive and purpose driven.

Maybe it’s the way a river-walk seems to welcome a shared silence. I’ve taken friends who know nothing of the fly rod or a trout, and I’ve seen them marvel at the beauty of a trout stream, hypnotized by the sights, sounds and smells of running water in a wooded valley.

It’s the ferns. The Hemlocks. Moss. Giant snowflakes on a forest floor of dried and fallen Sycamore leaves. These things welcome the reverie of silence. Distractions fade, and our need for sentences dissolves. Connections like these are formed out of thin air — from air that’s alive with the mist of broken water. And as we breath the river together, these moments are planted deep in our genetic fabric, embedded and passed on, strong enough that this drive, this pull to the water, endures for generations. The seed is planted.

Joey

I’ve walked the woods and waters with my father, my uncle and my grandfather. Now I share these places with my oldest son, who sees the intricacies of the tactical game of fly fishing as I do. And I share these places with my youngest son, who sinks deep into nature to experience these environs like I’ve rarely seen before. These days, I roam the rivers with an Australian Shepard who is four months old. I did the same with a Border Collie for fourteen years. The purity of such a bond is the same for us all. And at the end of each day, our deepest memories have the sound and the feeling of rushing waters around our legs.

READ: Troutbitten | Lost Fishing Friends

Through all my life, these watery paths and the lonely forests accompanying them have offered me a respite — a place to escape a world full of people. And all the while, these same rivers have enabled my deepest connections with a few of those people.

River

Fish hard, friends.

 

** Donate ** If you enjoy this article, please consider a donation. Your support is what keeps this Troutbitten project funded. Scroll below to find the Donate Button. And thank you.

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 1000+ articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers.
Your support is greatly appreciated.

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

This Is Real Silence

This Is Real Silence

. . . It can be dead silent on that mountain, quiet enough to remember a place in time with no interruptions, a day that started in a bustling, wide valley and finished in stillness on top of a mountain.

. . . . . . The guitar amp, the voices, the conversations, the laughing and arguing, the engine noise and the truck’s rattles, the NPR opinion and the crackly speakers — it’s all gone. And it’ll stay gone for as long as I’m here on the mountaintop. This is real silence.

Dry or Die?

Dry or Die?

. . . There’s a segment of fly anglers who will never see streamers, nymphs or wet flies as a legitimate offering. That’s fine. Keep it to yourself.

There’s another segment of fly fishers who believe trophy hunting for big browns with big streamers is the only way to live out there. And everything else might as well be tweed hats and waxed catgut. That’s fine too. Keep it to yourself.

The majority of us are fishermen, just having fun, trying to catch a fish and then catch another one . . .

Life On the Water

Life On the Water

Accomplished and skilled fly fishing requires that you give part of your life to the river. That’s evident in the first few trips, and I think the depth of all this surprises would-be anglers. It intimidates some, and it captivates others . . .

Patagonia Nymphing

Patagonia Nymphing

I don’t know another time when I approached a slot with so much confidence. Better. Slower. This was it. At the end of the fishless drift, my certainly wasn’t questioned, it was simply re-informed. “Need more weight,” I said. It was an unforgettable, prove-it kind of moment . . .

Forgiving Flies

Forgiving Flies

This is one of the most amazing times to be on the water. Fishing through a snowstorm rekindles memories, ingrained from the novelty of tracking flies and fly line through the optical mystery of falling snow.

. . . This morning, I’m leaning on my favorite set of forgiving flies — just a handful of patterns I’ve noticed that our notoriously picky trout are more willing to move for and eat. These are patterns that draw attention and perhaps curiosity, but also don’t cause many refusals.

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

10 Comments

  1. Love that dog, it will be a god one!

    Reply
  2. Your soul is showing. Be proud of what others see.

    Reply
  3. Well said. It is very special and this article reminds me. Thanks.

    Reply
  4. River is living the life all dogs should come to know. Two loyal friends sharing a life together.

    Reply
  5. Lovely sentiments and a cute puppy!

    Speaking as a 75 y/o who got into fly fishing later than I wish, you’re gaining a rich perspective on the arc of life well before your time!

    Your boys and River will be blessed by the memories!

    Be well!

    Reply
  6. Poignant prose. Words that smell of woods and water. Good work, Dom.

    Reply
  7. We must remember that the river(s) we love must be loved back. There would be none of the pleasures Dom describes if the river was poluted, if the trout were abscent or the access was denied by the land owner. Support your local watershed group. Rivers need friends too. Bill Anderson – President Little Juniata River Association

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest