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

Thirty-Inch Liars

Thirty-Inch Liars

My story, Thirty-Inch Liars, is over at Hatch Magazine today. Here are a few excerpts..... -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ... I once read through a publication that printed, "Thirty-inch wild trout are common in this stretch of water." Now, I don't care what river in...

The Ladder and the Sky

The Ladder and the Sky

The sky seemed as though it may fall to the ground with the weight of so many stars. With no city lights on the horizon, no clouds, and no trees or mountains blocking the beauty, I saw the big sky undressed for the first time in my life.

. . . I sat on the roof for a while, then laid back, lying flat with my arms stretched out to the sides, using my body as an extra receiver to take in what my insufficient eyes might miss . . .

Spring Camp With Two Boys | 2016

Spring Camp With Two Boys | 2016

My Dad and I have often visited a campsite in the same remote spot atop a state forest mountain for almost fifteen years now. The spring trip is a four or five day event focused on fishing for wild brown trout in the limestone waters at the bottom of the mountain, and...

The Kid

The Kid

My story, The Kid, is over at Hatch Magazine today.  Here are a couple excerpts... -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ... The kid was ten years old and small for his age, but his legs were strong and he waded without fear. He fished hard. We shared a passion and a singular...

Full Days

Full Days

Sunup to sundown.

There’s nothing as simple and yet so full of variation as a full day on the water. The diversity of situations challenges the will of a fisherman: Exhaustion from the forces of water —  its speed, its numbing cold, the pressure of its depth. Weariness from the weather — the endless wind, the heavy rain, and the consuming heat of the sun. We soak in all the stages and moments that one single day brings, and we are alive through each one.

The Boat

The Boat

It was constructed by four muscular hands over two days and with one purpose — to float. Built to the specs of intricate line drawings printed on rough paper, the boat came to match the blueprints ordered from an ad in the back of a Popular Science magazine.

The builders used it for two seasons, and then it sat. The boat collected rain and bred microscopic life, providing food for mosquitoes and midge larva which hatched in their own time and fed the swallows nesting in the rafters of a nearby farmhouse turned post-war residence.

Year after year the boat sat, unused, lonely and forgotten.

Then it was sold — bartered actually — for enough groceries to fill one large brown bag. The hands of a builder passed ownership to the hands of a fisherman, having his own purposes for a boat . . .

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