Monday, October 19, 2015

Nature's pendmanship

A strange sidebar from my first summer of backpacks and flying ants is the story of the messenger grayling...

At one 8,500-foot stillwater, I found what could have been a message written on the flanks of a small grayling, via letters suggested in its characteristic black pocks. It was something like: "...WAN AW X N...". Compelled to return the suffocating fish to water, it was quickly a memory bathed in a splash.

Not the fish, but this one might be trying to tell me something, too.
Had my oxygen-choked brain pulled one over? Double rainbow all the way across the sky? Shake it off, buddy. Catch another and move on...

Grayling might be my favorite summertime fish. Their well-meaning spirits have always played well with me. Top it off with aurora-blasted dorsals and subtle-lilac cheeks, and I've found a fish worth catching. I first got lucky, hooking one on a randomly placed gray Parachute Adams, about a decade ago. I honestly thought I'd landed a flying fish.

Later this past summer from an office chair while researching the upcoming weekend's adventure, I scrolled into a second apparent message. A meandering stream in the foothills seemed to be written in some sharp cursive.

Does that say arms?
It's all silly, I know, trying to find meaning amidst the chaos. Maybe I should focus on fishing and leave the ethereal to the philosophers.