Speeding Tickets Trumped By Steelhead Fishing

What a day…crisp, 32 degrees, nary a cloud, can see your breath.  Diane and I took Faith for a walk…well, truth pushing Faith took us for a walk.  She knows the cues…cookie means time to eat; walk sends her into ecstasy—she races to the front door, lets us know, come on…make good on your word.

Came back…the day about to become night…and then thought: how blessed I am, how fully blessed.

A dear former parishioner, now a retired attorney in North Carolina, wrote about the blog of the garbage dump becoming a symphony—how many of us complain about not having enough—when the real question is not what we want.  The real question is what we need.  I think what we need less of is all the whining about wanting more.  Look what these poor people in Paraguay gathered from a garbage dump.  Shame on us!

Then I spent a few moments reflecting upon the year, knowing that this week is Thanksgiving, but always believing that Thanksgiving is not a day but a style of living, an attitude, an awareness of how much in our life is both blessing and gift.

And then my thought was to what the next few months might have to offer.  Fishing for steelhead.  Most of you know that for me fishing is congruent with living.

Reminds me when Diane and I first came to Seattle [circa 2005] and went on our first steelhead trip with John Koenig on the Skagit River, the day after Thanksgiving.  Paid no attention to my speedometer.  The state patrolman did and announced my error with flashing lights.  He asked me if I knew how fast I’d been driving?  I was utterly clueless, “No, officer, I have no idea.  My wife and I were having an argument.”

His curiosity asked, “An argument?  What might I ask were you arguing about?”

“Oh, we were arguing which of us would catch the first winter steelhead.”

He put his ticket book to the side, “What!  You’re going steelhead fishing?”

We nodded.

He tapped Diane on the shoulder, “Ma’am, two things.  Keep him no higher than the speed limit…and I hope you whip his butt catching steelhead.”

Yep, thought of that.  And to his admonitions…the answer is YES on both his advisories!

But, even more.  Of all the fishing…and I am blessed to have many venues and many dear friends who know a lot more than I about catching fish…what floats my boat, so to speak with an apt metaphor, is to bounce eggs for steelhead.  Sure it’s cold, at times the line freezes on the pole.  But, what a joy to cast slightly upstream, to bounce a small sinker on the bottom as the line drifts downstream.  The tap, tap, tap of the bouncing sinker.  Then, almost imperceptively, the bounce becomes a tug….tug…tug.  Set the hook and the river explodes with a shiny, as in chrome-bright, steelhead.  Will be doing that in December…and then a wonderful friend will join me in January…and another trip in February and in March.

Along with that…and there are two pictures to share the fish itself [I’m the one without the gills] and what daybreak will look like in December [I call that God’s paintbrush]…my oh my…I can taste the joy of the adventure now.

And.  I will pay attention to the speed limit.

Skagit River Sunrise 1 October 30, 2013

Mark with Dave Johnson


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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2 Responses to Speeding Tickets Trumped By Steelhead Fishing

  1. John Koenig says:

    I like it GIT!!! Can you send me that picture of the sunrise… Love that view!!!

    • Chris Vertopoulos, aka Zorba says:

      Soon enough, a winter steelhead will get slime on my hand. I think I’ll make a serious effort next week. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Diane and I hope the both of you get out together in Dec and get some slime on each of your hands.

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