The Brink


There is a borderline, a thin membrane that covers the world in all aspects. Your life, your job, your car, and of course your all-encompassing fishing addiction. On the opposite side of that borderline lies greatness or destruction. Maybe that membrane covers something as miniscule as a thought. Each floating thought stopped by a net that only bears two outcomes. Life or death. Maybe it is our will to survive that forces us not to complete a thought for fear of that one percent of failure. We strive for the familiar.

One such story involves myself and the South Platte River. I hiked over a hill into a particularly fishy looking hole. It seemed a particularly brilliant plan. Fish where people won’t go. Dropping an 11th hour for well over an hour produced nothing. Time was running out and I knew the hour of fishing to come would turn out to be a better experience than the hour before. I tried different bugs to no avail. Sometimes while fishing, we change flies. This is not a normal practice for me. Yet, I changed the pattern. Knowing a new tactic would only inhibit my catching ability. This process pulled me out of the realm of familiarity. I knew what would work, and it wasn’t tied on. I looked up.

When you are on the brink of greatness, you do things you wouldn’t normally do. You tie your right shoe with your right hand and left with your left. Accidents, like the tying of an RS2 because of your determination to tie a better comparadun. Then you go and do something crazy like tie on your original fly that didn’t work and fish the most overpressured water you can imagine, and it worked.

I looked up again, death began to fall from the sky. A death I have become to familiar with. Lightning. I pushed the limits as fish began to rise to the bubbles pushed down from falling rain. I had made it this far. In the brink of life and death was success.


8 responses to “The Brink

  • ShesaManiYak

    Very nice, although that one word brings a chill when I hear or read it.. Lightning. Too many times I’ve risked it all at the prospect of catching one more, or perhaps my first of the day. I’m happy to have found success in the brink. I hope I always do.

  • emblock

    Greatness, pushed to the limits, accidents. “In the brink of life and death was success.” We just all have to seek and find it. As you have.
    So good, as always. And hope you’re enjoying that new reel!

  • What The Karp?!?

    I hooked a salmon in west Michigan’s White River once, and things started out bad right away. First of all the salmon ran downstream, I hate it when they do that! As it got to the edge of the pool, it jumped over the downed tree that provided cover at the tail of the pool, I did what I knew I had to do, even if it killed me, I went in. This hole is deep! deeper than I dare to guess, Deep enough to where you can’t see the salmon in it. I approached the log where my line was hung up, the salmon still struggling 30 yards downstream. The water was within inches of spilling over my waders, I’m on tiptoes, salmon are rolling, jumping and splashing me, even brushing up against me! I can’t imagine what a direct hit would have been like. I finally get to where i can bring my line up over the log, only to find out, the salmon then swam under the next log that I can’t even see. So I just stood right there, trying to salvage the situation, my line wouldn’t come in even an inch, I’m fighting a maple tree with a salmon snagged on it. Finally the line snapped, The fish gave it’s taunting jump as they always seem to do to let you know what you missed, and i reeled in 30 yards of frayed line, happy to be alive.

  • Sanders

    Greatness is defined out on the brink…but that thin membrane that hides failure or defeat isn’t far behind. I’m glad that you are out there pushing the limits, thankful for the stories.

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