Where There’s Only Sky and Water


A solitary surf fisherman in late August hoping to intercept the last of the pink salmon or a roving school of Dolly Varden on the point at Point Hope, Alaska.

Surf fishing is addicting. Part of the magic lies in not knowing when or even if the fish will show up. So you fall into a rhythm, walking up or down the beach casting, waiting for the lure to land, and beginning your retrieve. As you fall into this rhythm, invariably your mind wanders… back to fish you’ve caught and fish you’ve lost on this beach or on other beaches, back to something your dad, or a coach, or a friend said to you a long time ago, back to places you’ve been and to people who have slipped into and out of your life. At other times, you find yourself looking into the future, forward to the day when your mortgage is paid off, or to a day when you are at last able to travel to some dream destination. Your feet are planted more or less firmly on sand or pebbles. Behind you are cities and towns, offices, classrooms, dinner parties, appointments, work, triumphs and regrets, small talk, clocks, calendars… Before you, stretching out as far as you can see, there is only sky and water and the possibility that on the next cast you’ll be woken from your reverie, everything suddenly solid, your rod bent into a graceful, lively arc.

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