When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become
-Gilmour and Waters 1979
Music evokes memories buried deep in the recesses of our personal history. Perhaps it was the dose of CSN&Y on the car stereo during the long ride up to the Peninsula that propelled me back to the days of fishaholism. Perhaps it was finally getting out to the coast to tick off an entry on the bucket list. Perhaps it was the surreal change of season that air travel can deliver in a few short hours. Memories of college days, pounding every piece of water to a froth flowed freely from the long dead past. Rabid pursuit of another notch in the cork handle. Another steelhead captured and consumed. Little time for books and relationships or sleep. Constantly on the hunt for another fish to catch. Never satisfied. Another brick in the wall.
That restless youth was not on board the plane that touched down in Portland. His seat occupied these forty odd years later by an old grey curmudgeon. The youth would have slept little, smoked, toked, and drunk to excess, and fished incessantly. Confident and invincible, he would have burnt his enormous candle down to the smallest nub before meeting an inevitable and necessary crash. He did not know that the word reboot would exist.
The curmudgeon thought deeply about those heady old days of feverish fishing, political change, the war, rock music, free luv.......... there was time to consider all this, as the rivers were out of shape. High water. In the woods.
Good company and bad weather kept the curmudgeon closer to the cabin and farther from the water than he wanted to be. He slept well each night, ate sensibly and consumed only a modicom of alcohol. He then discovered that the child was still alive, deep down inside. Much time was spent hunting for chrome, but little was had. He kicks himself daily back home now in the frozen Northland, thinking that if he had listened a bit more intently to the youth in his head and fished another hour each day, perhaps, perhaps, just maybe another steelhead would have moved up into his drift.
So now that the OP experience has passed, it is indeed as a fleeting glimpse. Memories to be tightly grasped.