I’d gotten used to the vacant expressions and slow polite nods.
An unsure, “hmm” or furrowed brow conveyed an utter lack of understanding — not only for my occupation, but for the person I defined myself to be.
“A fly fisher?”
Through the years, uncomfortable silence hung off airplane tray tables, taxi headrests, and restaurant chandeliers. I left a morbid trail of stillness everywhere I went, and had come to accept that while fly fishing was my world, the sport was mostly unfamiliar to everyone else’s.
As a teenager, on one of many solo river explorations, I pushed and ducked my way through a game trail — partaking in a tiring retaliation of ‘slap’ with branches that struck at my limbs, and I at theirs. Alone and wary, my imagination ignited as it did so often in the untamed forests of British Columbia.