I have been climbing into rivers for the past 20 years . First with the single minded purpose to catch a fish. I caught my first fish in flowing water on a river , which over time , became my companion and I its friend. We’d share our different moods and together welcome and take leave of the seasons and the years , some fulfilled and others bleak . I lived my life with its waters pulling at my legs – I met a girl , married , set up house , got a son ,then a daughter, grew older – still its waters pull at me.

In time the river revealed some of its secrets hidden below the surface , below the obvious , below its rocks. I became as enchanted by the tiny life forms as I was by the fish . And I understood the insects are like the rocks , like the water , the river itself . And like the river , always changing with the seasons , different insects would proliferate and diminish with the seasons. Hatches would rise and fall , cycles would come and go , year after year. I understand now that the closer I pay attention , the more likely I am to meet my quarry at a common point of interest . That the thrill I experience when a snout pokes out of the surface to eat my fly , is as much because of the deception , as of the confirmation that I got to know my companion. Still there is lots to know.

It is autumn now. The river bursts with hatches , with fleeting life , before the quite cold of winter slows its pulse. I climb into the river once again. To let my line dance with the golden lit insects in the afternoon sun , to hunt my quarry and to feel its waters pulling at me.

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Herman Botes

Herman Botes

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5 Responses

  1. Herman, I’ve never used the “climb into water” phrase before, but it is so apt. Enjoyed your writing – hope to see more

  2. Good writing indeed Herman. I hope people will look at those words the way you study overturned boulders and see.

  3. Thanx for the encouring comments guys. It’s much easier to write about the technical side of FF , than trying to capture the esoteric aspects of our FF lifestyle. Sometimes it comes out right , I guess.

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