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A deep fisherperson

Pam Cosmo Gooch

What is it about the outdoors that makes it so good to experience? Maybe it is the fact that we did not create it, and therefore, we have no illusions about controlling it. No power plays. If there is a contest, we lose. End of game. So, we do not waste time struggling. Instead, we observe it, interact with it, appreciate it. As we pass through the outdoors, we are, somehow, able to focus better on ourselves.

Natural surroundings seem to evoke basic questions. Where am I? What am I doing here? What is my purpose? Am I lost or on the right path?

I do not think it was a coincidence that Buddha was sitting on a riverbank underneath a tree when he became enlightened. Or that Jesus walked in the Garden of Gethsemane to ask for divine guidance. Or that Moses climbed Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. I have not noticed profound insights coming from power-walking the malls. Have you?



I had a conversation with South Lake Tahoe/Reno attorney Melvin Laub the other day. He was telling me stories about his trip to Greece and mountain biking in Bhutan on the slope of the Himalayas. It was an inspiring journey for him and he is convinced of the benefits that everyone could derive from meditating, then simply walking “a mile or two first thing in the morning to get centered.”

“In addition to the physical benefits of the exercise,” he elaborated, “spending time each day figuring out where you are and what you intend to do can put you in touch with your purpose in life. That would be of great benefit to everyone.” I concur.



Now is a great time to get out. I have had some terrific reports of excellent fishing in area streams and reservoirs.

Ron Solomon of South Lake Tahoe told me last week that he had a great time catching hefty cutthroat and rainbow trout out of Red Lake. My husband, Ralph, was knocking them dead at Caples, using a green damsel fly and attracting German browns (released them all, by the way). The Tahoe Daily Tribune’s own Jim Smolinski reports whoppers out of Round Lake. Fat cutthroats. Monitor Creek is loaded with trout spilling out of Heenan Lake. The Walker Rover is productive in the more remote areas. Bring insect repellent to the East Carson. The Truckee River out of Boca Reservoir sounds promising.

Now is the time. The weather is still cool enough that the algae has yet to bloom, the rivers are clearing up and all but the highest lakes are free from ice. So, the fish and the fisherfolk are happy.

I didn’t feel any pangs of remorse as I surveyed the newly carved out paths of area rivers. It is simply a wonderful new terrain to explore and come to know. Keep your eyes open for new things that the river might bring.

I found a perfect manzanita stick, worn smooth by the river. These strong, beautiful sticks refuse to be tamed by geneticists into compliant or predictable straight branches. Instead, they persist in their defiant, twisted, gnarled and wonderful shapes – perfect for talking sticks or decorative projects.

Wildflowers are beautifully in bloom. Who knows? Perhaps the massive runoffs have washed gold nuggets loose from the surrounding hills. I know I will be jamming a pan in the back of my vest more than once this year …

Why go outdoors? Because it is gorgeous and fun and interesting and inspirational and healing, and with it we can become complete.


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