The Home Waters in My Head
by Lawrence Bergmann
I am blessed to live in South Carolina. Sure, we have our problems (the Confederate flag still flies in front of our state capital). But…. we are a land of water with a long gentle coast of white sand and an unending saltmarsh that is the home for a large number of creatures including trout (not your trout), redfish, flounder and sheephead. The pace of life and the tides is slow. During the summer, nobody and nothing moves quickly (we wake up to the 80’s every morning.) and fishing is an early morning pursuit. Of course, we have virtually no winter and in January and February a slowly presented jig or shrimp might yield a meal.
While I love my home and the opportunities that it provides, my fishing dreams are much farther north; to Alaska where everything (including the people) seems raw, rugged and rough Fly fishing for salmon is a treat for so many reasons… Looking up at the glaciers is a reminder of the immensity and strength of nature. The waters are swift and cold with little life save the migrating salmon. Although they are not the most difficult fish to fool and catch, each time I fight and touch a salmon I think about the miracle of their birth, struggle for life and return to the river or creek where they were born. Without the salmon, there would be no eagles, bears and possibly people. Fly fishing for salmon is a glimpse into the difficult and unforgiving world of nature…. And there is nothing like it.