Fishing without gear in winter

Rushing past my father, I finally stopped thinking. Cold air pumping in and out of my lungs, I crashed into the pristine, snow covered hillside. Although somewhat cumbersome, my snow shoes elevated me spiritually so I could glide above everything despite my loping gait.

Everything. The emails mounting in my inbox. The details of the day’s logistics. The unabated force of mortality that had inundated my life over the year.

Instead my mind was like the unadorned snow just awaiting the next adventurer. Clear. An emptiness of undulating whiteness crafted by the wind and framed by the silent watch of the surrounding evergreens.

I didn’t have my fishing gear with me – the lakes and rivers were completely frozen this late day in December. But I couldn’t help but feel like this was a fishing day nonetheless. I was out in the beauty of the forests just outside my hometown of Boulder. I was sharing one of those special moments with my father that is really only possible outside on an adventure. We were both inspired and humbled that we live somewhere where the people know that they need to protect the places that they love.

No I wasn’t fishing, but all anglers are much more than anglers. Yes we love casting to an irascible bull trout mocking our flies, but we truly love the full experience. We love getting away from everything and getting back to our roots in the outdoors. We don’t want to just observe it on TV or from afar, we want to be a part of it. We want to immerse ourselves in the silence and nothingness that the wild places we love offer with their beauty.

It was a brief moment, perhaps just a couple hours. But in those few hours I felt like the rabbit I came upon deeper in the woods. The rabbit, whose lonely tracks I followed between the trees and stumbled upon as I caught my breath. Or the fish I caught earlier in the fall while wading the South Platte.

That is what we are at Trout Unlimited. Come and be a part of it.


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