"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

29 June 2016


Chatham, Summer Evening on the North Platte River, 2004

Ultimately, I don’t know exactly what happened in my angling life. I had gone fly fishing for thirty-three years in Montana and then we moved there, so now I’m up to forty-two. Mind you, this doesn’t mean I’m good at it. Good and bad aren’t part of my fishing lexicon. The good can be part of the quality of light that day, or the quality of bread, salami, or hot peppers at lunch. The bad can be weather under forty degrees, which I no longer care for. In the last nine years, having moved from Michigan to Montana to be closer to our daughters and grandchildren, I’ve upped my fishing to sixty to seventy days per season. I have reams of empty paper containing what I’ve forgotten. Certain good fish are only remembered when I pass the landscape on the river where I caught them. We can be as honest as we can be and still be hopelessly dishonest. Our private mythologies have a soft stranglehold on us. Fishing elicits tales and fables from us from another time.

Jim Harrison

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