There’s a whisper in the trees. A quiet song that comes and goes as faithfully as the wind and emanates from the needles of the pines. It is the hum of Mother Nature that soothes anyone who hears that she is there and in control. If you want to listen, you can hear how big and great the world is. It is in these moments that you can find some calm in your insignificance and let the time go by.
It wasn’t until I was older that I realized I had moved away from the Pacific Northwest. The challenges of everyday life and the preoccupation with various tasks made me forget this wonderful place. My priorities were for the future, so I paid little attention to the present. Everything in my youth was incessant and proceeding rapidly. An athletic scholarship was my only chance to pay for college, and I was fully involved.
Now, with four kids out and about, time still seems to be sliding as fast as it did before. Still, I can feel its weight almost like the rush of a rushing stream. I can see it now and it’s not easy. Now is a good opportunity to take my kids fishing and enjoy with the family.
I have now learned that it is imperative for me to invest my time wisely. Not just for me, but most of all for its value to my children. I want to show you that not everything has to be done in the fast lane and not every occasion has to be suppressed. In fact, we can take the time to enjoy nature’s song and stop while the wind is blowing.
A few years ago I discovered my passion for trout fishing. It’s not to say that I had no idea before that it existed, just that it was never really something I expected or participated in. While on a camping trip in northeast California, we found ourselves next to a stream through the woods, a little corner of the mountain range we call the Sierras. After waking up one morning to the sound of copper bells hanging on the shoulders of a flock of sheep, I loved it and in those hills a memory was brought to my mind that promised to return later.
Despite my little experience, we caught fish in this creek with ease. I also enjoyed taking my dinner out of the water, cleaning it, and cooking it myself. Another important lesson I learned is that it is important to dump fish scraps in a place like the sierras, otherwise a bear might forage for food.
And so, with a year full of little adventures, we prepare to go out into the forest again. As I packed the camping gear into the trailer, I was reminded of the fresher, finer air at this altitude. The dirt on a forest floor in the Sierra Mountains has its own unique odor that is the result of years of decomposition of tree bark. I spent many hours preparing and modifying my truck and trailer for these trips. We even put a tent on the roof of the truck to show our commitment to the outdoors. I also installed a support for the fishing rods in the carp bowl to ensure an impromptu cast can be made.
We went to Highway 395 and found our way back to the old creek, as did many other fish that were returning to its waters. We brought our rooftop tent and drove down the dusty road to our campsite in the open camping areas near Buckeye. We were pleasantly surprised to find a spot right on the water. We set up camp with a blanket of lush green grass and a canopy of pine branches over us. That year had been extremely wet, and the snow melting on the mountains raised the water level and the noise level of the creek. The cold mountain water jumped on the backs of once dry boulders as ponds turned on the banks.
After setting up camp, I went fishing in the water at a nearby bridge. The fresh air kept me company as I tried new bait to catch my next fish. A truckload of college-age boys drove and parked in the street. They jumped up and immediately approached me. I think he looked like a wise old fisherman or something. Things got relatively crowded, I decided the trout might be feeling a bit annoyed, so I brought the kids back to our camp. I exercised a lot of patience and enjoyed the outdoors, we played with our toy tractors and shorts by the water.
This fishing trip left many memories and lessons for me and my children. Use this interactive map whenever you want to find places near you to fish and spend a day in the great outdoors with your family.