We are not made of the same stuff anymore. Life has made us all a bit daft and weak. Spey fishermen have always been the kings of social distancing. Only these day with technology are we seeing that shift. The old steelhead hermit of the olden days wearing mainly wool and only friend in the world maybe a dog. Spending more time tying flies then on the phone. Spending more days fishing alone then sharing their water with anyone. Living off homemade stews living in a wooden cabin any logger would have been proud of. Keeping a journal to help keep the mind clear, and track of the days on the water successfully or unsuccessfully. Finding more meaning in the natural order of a single eco system than the persistent push of society. Driven by a zeal of the unknown and left to understand these truths on their own with no media or agenda to push. These off the beaten path river warriors, not only push the line of social distancing but may have defined it. I say that as they chose too, they were never ask. They were not ill, and if they were you wouldn’t have known. As sly as any fox, be tough to get them on a trail cam.
As a group I am not saying that these actions need be repeated again because they can’t, but we can all start showing more respect to other anglers. We can all worry less about posting a photo of every fish we have ever caught. We can take some page out of the book of Steelhead Angling pioneers by finding out for ourselves what these place and fish have to offer us by payment of what we are willing to give to them. The time and energy will always add up in your favor. We should all keep journals not stories. We should follow the model of knowing everything we can about the resources we fish, the animals and plants, flow and reactions, not just what sink top wallet I might need or what stone to cast from. There is a satisfaction in teaching and experiencing these thing on a personal level. That I believe most now will never know and other have somehow forgot. We all dream of that amazing steelhead experience. The ones who have lives it for themselves are the ones who understand. I am not calling anyone out, we can all become more patient and responsible for our on river actions. There are more of us coming and how we set the standard is what will define our future as anglers. Step back and review the past…there are days it helps. Hope everyone is gearing up. See you all soon.