"River time is the zen of fly-fishing, though you could be a bait fisherman and still achieve it. The mechanism that creates river time is one point concentration. Especially if you're nymph fishing, where you're watching the indicator on your line, or if you're watching a dry fly. It's repetitive behavior. You're casting and presenting the fly over and over and over, watching it. After a while the physical part becomes mechanical; it's not the product of conscious thought. A thousand times, the same motion. Your mind empties of other things; that single point of concentration doesn't let you think about anything else. It diverts all your thoughts to this one single point, for hours. You get out in the middle of the river and do this repetitive behavior and watch a fly or strike indicator for hours, and suddenly, without knowing it, you're on alpha wave time, river time."

-Richard Louv

I can identify with this sentiment. Becoming lost in that singular moment. Hours slipping by like minutes. No hunger, no thirst, just the anticipation of the next strike.


  1. Amen to that.

    It (indicator or dry fly) is also precisely the time when I feel the slight lag in sight and the reaction in my arm. I see the indicator go down and as much as I try, there is that slight lag before my arm lifts the rod. It’s partly the sweet disbelief that the indicator actually went down (especially if it’s been a slow day) and partly the disconnect of the event – a surreal state where sometime I feel I am watching someone else fish. I usually jolt myself quickly enough to hook the fish at the edge of the lip, but even when I miss – the reward is not missing. It’s also a similar experience when you see the silver fire burst in the water, when your dry fly hits the water – and you miss.

    And sometimes the reflection of that single concentrated action stays with me for days after I have stopped fishing. After a good day of fishing, it is almost guaranteed that I will see a indicator sink just before I fall asleep. And after so many trips, you can just close your eyes and see it on call. I know because I have found myself doing this in many meetings at work.

    * BTW – the picture didn’t load for me. But even without it, I can see it.

  2. I have still much to figure out about mrlee. I could guess but the South African thing just throws it all off.