Yesterday we met some of the wisest and kindest folks I've ever crossed paths with, who showed us true compassion and reminded us of what fishing is actually about. @charles_post and I were having a hard time catching trout in somewhat crowded Kenai-Russian river confluence, all the while watching two men in particular pull salmon after salmon out of the river. It's hard not to get discouraged when everyone around you is succeeding before your very eyes, even when you're playing a whole different (and arguably more difficult) game. We watched in awe as the men wrestled vermillion beasts out of the river's depths, forgetting about our own failures and instead drinking in the beautiful dance before our eyes. Soon we became friends with our impressive neighbors. And when we humbly asked them for some trout fishing advice, "what color bead should we use, that most closely resembles a salmon egg at this particular time?" they were patient. Our struggle continued, but then one of the men handed me his rod. Soon I was reeling in my own monster salmon, grinning with delight as I landed it in Charles' net. I couldn't even believe it, they just gave us the tools to succeed, and smiled and encouraged and made our day. It would have been so easy for them not to reach out with love and kindness, but they chose to. Yesterday I caught the most beautiful fish I ever have, and it was a gift from our new friend.
The gesture of help was not one of pity, but rooted in the desire to see smiles spread wide across our faces. And as I let that huge beautiful salmon back into those turquoise waters, I felt so lucky to stand by (now) friends who would give up the rush of success for a struggling kid. It was my favorite fish I've ever caught. And the reason these two were so successful while everyone else around them experienced a mere sliver of their triumphs, was because they fish for the right reasons- for the pure joy of sport, and not to win or conquer, and because they would give it up in an instant to make someone else's day. // Day one in AK was a pure delight, thanks @charles_post for taking this rather soggy portrait of me!! And my @_brianna_moore_ hat is👌// #rachelpohlart