“Near the top of the stairs hung a photograph of a lone fly fisherman, thigh deep in some nameless mountain stream, a shadowy figure in a low-slung hat. Bathed in a constantly shifting light, silver grays, and dappled browns, the angler stood among dark smooth stones, the camera capturing the tight loop smooth and tight, and in the distance, a flashing dimple of broken water; a trout on the rise, rising from the pool like a shadow, rolling slightly in the day’s fading light. For as long as I knew that old house, for as long as I enjoyed the company of those old men and the comfort and security of the room at the top of the stairs, this photograph was part of my landscape, a soothing feature of my geography, one that both pleased and possessed me, punctuating each day’s start and end, often even entering my dreams. It seemed to me to hold a nearly perfect moment, an uncluttered vision of grace and simplicity that never failed to ease my spirit. A few years later, after Albert had died, I would look at this fascinating old photograph, one last time, and as always the light danced and the stream ran fast with possibility and the fly fisherman was inseparable from it all, as natural to the stream as the black stones he stood among.”
from The Earth is Enough, by Harry Middleton
As soon as I read this I thought of the photograph below (and above), one I’ve loved since the moment I took it. It is my friend on Snoqualmie’s middle fork, July 2003. Taken just after sunset. Some dusk fog and drizzle cleared and the sky lit up behind the day’s sun. We fished into the dark and under the stars.