A wise man once said that the only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. It's a quote I try to keep in the front of my mind whenever I succumb to the urge to peruse social media and the litany of over-the-top adventures included in my daily news feed.
Sporting culture these days seems to promote exotic species, far flung destinations, and oversized specimens as the only acceptable fodder for Instagram or Facebook. And if one didn't know better, it would be easy to think that every other hunter and angler on the face of the planet is flying to Christmas Island or New Zealand or Cuba every weekend for their sporting pursuits while you're "stuck" at home fishing the same old float or hiking all-too-familiar trails. While I'd love to be on a sandy flat spooking bonefish just as much as the next guy/gal, there's something to be said for those well known places and the knowledge and perspective developed from spending time in familiar country.
For me, it's the people who have spent their entire lives getting to know one basin, or hell, one run on a river that really deserve our respect. I think we all have a lot to learn from folks like that, who have learned to slow down, take note of the unremarkable things, better understand the interconnections that bind a landscape together, and use the precious-little time we have here to get to know a few special places really, really well.
Rivers change so much over time, as do our perspectives. I think back to the first time I cast a fly on the McKenzie here in Oregon and how much I've changed since those days. How much the river has changed. How much the world has changed. I think about the threats to the McKenzie and other places I hold dear that have arisen in the short time I've known them, and how many threats had already changed those places before I came around. Knowing a place intimately and reflecting on how they change is something I fear we stand to lose in this new age of short attention spans and social media fame.
While I'll still be over-the-top excited the next time I board a plane for some distant destination, I hope I'll continue to be even more excited to return home to the special places I know and hold dear.