Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grande Ronde Steelhead

Went fishing yesterday on the Grande Ronde River in Washington state. It's only about an hour's drive from my house here in Idaho. The last part of the drive is down a 4x4 road that drops a thousand feet or more into the river canyon. I saw eagles, ducks, geese, bighorn sheep, and mule deer. It was a splendid morning. The drive is beautiful and the canyon is peaceful. Even on a Saturday I only saw a couple of drift boats threading through the rapids.

The steelhead I caught was about 5 pounds which is average for this river. There are a few 10 pounders in there, but I've never caught one. It was a female, so I'll be curing the eggs for bait. I've got the fish brining right now and I'll be putting it in the smoker in just a little bit.
I find my spiritual center in God's own cathedrals. "I will lift mine eyes up into the hills, it is from there that my help will come." The words of the Psalmist are constantly on my mind when I am in the mountains and canyons of the West. As I stand in the icy river, watching it flow by, I am keenly aware that the river, the fish, the canyon, the bighorns, and I are all part of God's creation. I find a deep sense of peace, I am aware of my right place in God's universe. I am filled with grace. I am blessed.

I say a prayer of thanks for the fish and the beautiful morning and a thank you to the fish as well.

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