Wednesday, June 19, 2013


“As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler.”
—Izzak Walton

A number of years ago my sons and I enjoyed several days drifting and fishing the Madison River in Montana with two fishing guides who served as our boatmen. 
The guide I drew was a man who had lived on the river all of his life and knew where the big trout held. (And probably knew their names!)  He was a taciturn man—spoke scarcely two-dozen words in all the time he was with us—but his few words enlivened my days. Let me explain. 
We were fishing with small flies in choppy water, and my eyesight is not what it used to be. I was missing most of the takes. In due course, my guide, who was not only silent, but the very soul of patience, began to alert me by murmuring, “fish” when he saw a trout rising under my fly. When I heard his cue, I lifted the tip of my rod and...Voilà! A trout on the end of my line!
I’ve often thought of that guide, the river, and the great and mysterious opportunities that come my way every day—men and women, boys and girls, circling around me, searching for that elusive "something" for which their souls crave—serendipitous occasions to show love and speak of the hope that is in me, opportunities I will miss if not alerted. 
May the Great Angler, who knows every heart, whisper “fish” in my ears all through this day and may I have ears to hear (Luke 5:9,10).

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