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A LITTLE SLICE OF PARADISE

By Dan Trotter on February 22, 2017 in Other

Photo: Dan Trotter

Photo: Dan Trotter

With our New Year’s resolutions either kicking in or long forgotten, it’s time to get down to focusing on what we want from today, this month, this year and, well, what we want from our lives.

How were your holidays? Take a moment to stop, remember, smile, laugh and cry at the memories made, the friends and family visited and the goodbyes that had to happen.

Did you fish? Did you catch?

Stop, again, and bring back the pictures to your mind’s eye of the relaxing hours spent by the water and cherish those moments. Whilst this may all sound a bit soppy, writing my monthly article in The Beast provides me the time to pause and reflect. It’s a few hours each month that I love.

The photo for this month’s article comes from one of those magical moments in life that only a fisherman gets to experience, know and love; one of those rare highlights when the world seems to stand still and it’s only you, your thoughts, the water, and the fish.

It was a rare opportunity to find a little slice of paradise – solo, lost, way up in the mountains of New Zealand’s North Island, on a river almost never fished with big trout rising to sip insects off the surface, as they do every day oblivious to the world around them.

This little slip of a river is mostly protected from a fisherman’s carefully presented offering by canyon walls that stretch up 300 to 600 feet from where the river runs through it. As fortune would have it, after hours of driving in search of an access point that wouldn’t kill me, I found a farmhouse where the banks were steep, but they weren’t cliffs.

After some convincing the very kind farmer allowed me to walk down into a world almost forgotten, and there in the half-light of the canyon I found an unusual kind of excited peace, with world class brown and rainbow trout in every pool.

The photo is of the first fish I caught that day, and the whole 30 minutes it took to stalk, cast, hook and catch this magnificent fish were straight out of the textbook. Upon eating the fly, the fish ran hard and fast before leaping and cartwheeling across the big open pool, upstream then downstream, running deep then shallow, until after some time I was blessed to swim its rose gold flanks onto the sandy bank, where joy and victory were mine. Only the river, the canyon walls and yours truly heard my whoops of exhilaration, and I laughed, grinned and commended myself for hours, reliving the moment and thanking the fish, the natural world and life in general for the chance to feel so alive!

With all that in mind, and 2017 now in full swing, it’s time to take charge. The power to change our futures is open to us all; the more we believe the more influence we have. So waste no time and get busy – busy dreaming, busy doing and busy believing in what you want, then make it happen. Lucky are we that we live an existence where this can be true – don’t waste it!

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