Confessions of a River Rat
I have to tell you something. Sometimes I feel like I have a problem. Fortunately there is a cure.
Some people do yoga to relieve stress. Not me. Nearly all my worries only seem like worries when I don't get to fish enough. Usually there is a direct relationship between how much fishing I need to do and the amount of stress I think I'm under.
The river is a place I can go and everything that bothers me just floats by. I'm not here to fool you though. It's not like every issue I have disappears, it just gets kind of blurry. Like a newspaper someone spills a glass of milk on. You know there were pictures, you just aren't sure what was in them.
Not just any river has this effect on me. I've experienced the hustle-and-bustle of whitewater trout streams, filled with anglers more worried about whether or not their clothes are in-season than fishing. I can't deny that trout aren't an excellent gamefish to pursue; I always seem to leave those places feeling like I just got out of work.
There is something special about the rivers catfish call home. The water moves along, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, but always with character. It's as if the muddy water hides some deep secrets no other waters have in them. When you are in catfish country, life slows down enough to ponder important things like this.
There are few that would deny water doesn't slow down time. Even as the seconds trickles by, it always feels like you have to leave too soon. Big problems seem smaller. Small fish seem bigger. This place is the home of the cure for all my misfortunes.
The creeks of catfish country are special. They twist, turn, and dance their way across nearly all of North America. The stream I go to doesn't matter. It's just the one closest to me.