I have been climbing into rivers for the past 20 years . First with the single minded purpose to catch a fish. I caught my first fish in flowing water on a river , which over time , became my companion and I its friend. We’d share our different moods and together welcome and take leave of the seasons and the years , some fulfilled and others bleak . I lived my life with its waters pulling at my legs – I met a girl , married , set up house , got a son ,then a daughter, grew older – still its waters pull at me.

In time the river revealed some of its secrets hidden below the surface , below the obvious , below its rocks. I became as enchanted by the tiny life forms as I was by the fish . And I understood the insects are like the rocks , like the water , the river itself . And like the river , always changing with the seasons , different insects would proliferate and diminish with the seasons. Hatches would rise and fall , cycles would come and go , year after year. I understand now that the closer I pay attention , the more likely I am to meet my quarry at a common point of interest . That the thrill I experience when a snout pokes out of the surface to eat my fly , is as much because of the deception , as of the confirmation that I got to know my companion. Still there is lots to know.

It is autumn now. The river bursts with hatches , with fleeting life , before the quite cold of winter slows its pulse. I climb into the river once again. To let my line dance with the golden lit insects in the afternoon sun , to hunt my quarry and to feel its waters pulling at me.



  1. Michael Gradidge 22 April, 2015 at 11:08 - Reply

    Lovely piece of fishing writing Herman!

  2. Andy Cox 22 April, 2015 at 15:35 - Reply

    Herman, I’ve never used the “climb into water” phrase before, but it is so apt. Enjoyed your writing – hope to see more

  3. Edward Truter 23 April, 2015 at 23:10 - Reply

    Good writing indeed Herman. I hope people will look at those words the way you study overturned boulders and see.

  4. Herman Botes 24 April, 2015 at 08:30 - Reply

    Thanx for the encouring comments guys. It’s much easier to write about the technical side of FF , than trying to capture the esoteric aspects of our FF lifestyle. Sometimes it comes out right , I guess.

  5. Platon 25 May, 2015 at 05:50 - Reply

    You sure did capture it Herman, beautiful piece.

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