For those who love rivers, trout, and fly fishing, A River Runs Through It, although still the golden grail of all things fly fishing, has been over used, over done, and over dissected. Even so, we are still drawn to its prose, art, and spirituality on a fairly regular basis. The words of Norman Maclean from this story are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful and poetic ever written. Every so often then, because my journey is influenced in a large part, about all things rivers, I am going to include some of those words, and maybe some of Hemingway’s, and of course Travers as well.
I’ll be slightly under seven decades old next week and now, whenever I see old Norman at the end of the movie and hear his words…I can relate more & more.
“Now nearly all those I loved and did not understand when I was young are dead, but I still reach out to them.
Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn’t. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.”
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”