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As I get closer to the river I start to hear her breathe. The birds keep a busy lead as the water thrums a heavy rhythm. Each step, I try to hold a steady tempo. The ballad ebbs as I remember why I am here.

photo courtesy of - Daniel Evan Weddle

This is a new section of river for me and I’ve heard there are brook trout, the only native trout to this region, which grow to the size of sweet potatoes.  Brookies have become my passion, for I can’t seem to get their resplendent colors from my thoughts.  My connection to the brook trout has grown wild over the past year.

photo courtesy of - Rodney Rice

If anyone knows fly-fishing, they understand that the infamous brown trout, along with the ever so cumbersome rainbow trout, have driven the brookies upstream to tighter, colder waters.

Such is life, I accept.

photo courtesy of - Daniel Evan Weddle

It is the appetite of the sports fishermen that keeps me away from the delayed harvest sections of the bigger rivers and I can’t help but compare.  Yes, I’ve gotten up at the crack of dawn to catch as many fish as I can, or hit a “Tuckasegee Grand Slam,” but to be alone with my thoughts and experience pure gratitude for a body of water that holds only brook trout, I venture further.

It’s that next hole around that big boulder that doesn’t just lead me to a beautiful fish, but also to a place of secrecy.

I may not have discovered it but I am of it, and that in itself is enough to make any woman dare to understand herself.

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