“Studious men, who live in the country, are more advantageously situated; but he, who is pent up in a town, vexed by the excitements of the day, and driven, in spite of himself, to late and irregular hours, could get profit every way, if at times he would seek the purer air, free from the city’s smoke, and with his rod as a staff, climb the hills, and ply his quiet art in the brooks that wash the mountain side, or wander through the green valleys, shaded by the willow and the tasseled alder.” – Rev. George Washington Bethune, 1847
Vexed by the excitements of the day, indeed. In need of “purer air” that is lacking in our laundry/dressing/office room, I hit the Watauga for the first time in a month or more. I am well into the fishing section (think: magnum opus) of my thesis, and the excursion just sort of planned itself. Alone for about three hours (who would be out at 40 degrees and raining?), I didn’t think about anything. I even tried pondering poems and quotes, but nothing came besides “It do feel good to be back out here.” At any rate, the fishing may be the best I’ve had in Carolina. Them trouts wanted the boog. Virtually every hole in the way to the usual spots held scores of ravenous denizens of the brook. On the swing, on the strip, even when I walked upstream (and who doesn’t look around with hopes that no scornful stalker witnessed the method of delivery?) these creatures were on the prowl. This brookie was the last of the spoils, and though I hadn’t expended myself, I figured he was a good one to end on. Prolly went two pounds, 18 or so inches. Add to that the fact that I was greeted by two angels and homemade cinnamon rolls when I got home, and the vexations melted like last night’s snow. Amen!