For many years, for a myriad of reasons, I was either limited in my ability or wholly unable to travel in order to fish. These past few years, however, I've been very fortunate to have found myself on the road quite a bit, venturing to destinations I long only dreamed of visiting, fishing storied and wild waters.
For those of us that aren't lucky enough to live steps from the Bitterroot or the Madison, those of us that aren't a short drive from the tarpon and bonefish waters of the Florida keys or the grassy redfish flats of the gulf, our home waters are often comparatively unspectacular.
My home water is a tiny, wild brown trout creek that flows through Valley Forge National Park not far outside my home city of Philadelphia. In the darkness of the shadow cast by rivers like the Henry's Fork or the Snake or the Deschutes, it isn't much to look at. Not much at all. It flows alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike for much of its run leaving those who fish it with the sound of cars and semi trucks endlessly droning by on the highway above, it doesn't offer much solitude due to its setting in a heavily trafficked National Park, its hatches aren't particularly prolific and the fish are small. Sure, there are a few lurkers in there that will push 15 inches or more, but the vast majority of fish in the creek will tape out somewhere between 5 and 9 inches.
Small, even by the standards of my tiny home waters.
This past year, I've fished this creek -- where I typically lose count of my days on the water -- very few times. I'd like to claim that this is mostly due to a lack of time, my time on the road causing me to need to devote my time at home to less leisurely pursuits than fishing, but doing so would be largely disingenuous. The fact is, I lost interest. I lost the desire that normally pushes me out the door and onto the stream expecting, most likely, to be underwhelmed. Even bored.