First written August, 1991; an observation from Lake Tatlatui, BC – In British Columbia’s Tatlatui Provincial Park, where you’re much more likely to see a moose than another person. Look for more stories like this one in my upcoming new book (2018) on adventuring with nature.
I awoke to the sound of the loon. He’s got several calls, this is a call, almost a howl, which means, “I’m the greatest! I’m tough stuff! And I love fishing this lake!” Peering out of the cabin window, it is early light but definitely cloudy and a good wind riff on the lake. It feels like rain. It’s cold for the first week of July, and I’m told that that’s the way it’s been all summer.
First, start a fire in the stove. Then, out the door and scope the opposite shore for wolf or caribou. There is only a nearby chickaree running pinecones down a tree, some swallows, and the twitter of yellow-rumped warblers. There’s a clump of fireweed on the bank that sets off the lake and its surrounding mountains. Real pretty for a weed, with its pastel pink flowers and erect stature.
The fishing plan today is for a short flight to Kirschner lake to fish the outlet and the Rogness River, a mouthwatering thought—with hearty rainbows sucking in the loyal coachmen and humpys. No barbs on these flies, just a respectful meeting of father, daughter, and fish—even the one kept for the pan. Life does not get better.
My daughter Lyndsay’s response, upon reading this memory nearly thirty years later:
“I remember when we each drifted to our spot on the river, and we couldn’t see or hear each other from around the bend – a bald eagle flew overhead, I was wading to my knees in the water, and plenty of space to cast. I filled my lungs with pure air, listened to a rare moment of silence, untouched by human industry, and felt the deepest kind of freedom I had ever known. It struck me like it might lift me into the air alongside the flying great one.”