Mini Vision Quest: The Experience

The Mini Vision Quest.  This marks the third installment of a three post series completing what we call The Spirit Streams Experience.  Giving you full insight behind why we call ourselves “Spirit Streams” and full view into what we believe to be the core essence of fly fishing itself; the reason why we escape deep into the beautiful trout environments or strap on snowshoes to get to our favorite fly fishing spots in the middle of winter.  This is why we fly fish:  The Journey, The Breaths, and The Experience.

Driftless Beauty

The power of the Vision Quest goes way back, well beyond our time.  It was at the heart of the Native American Indian culture but its power is just as strong today.  All you have to do is seek it out.  The Vision Quest is traditionally known as a three-day, three-night fast, alone, in a place of natural power.  Once completed, you will be “reborn” and have renewed focus on what you truly were put on this earth to do and also how to go about doing it.  This goes back to what I referred to as a higher purpose in my previous post.  Being called to take a certain direction or path.  This higher purpose, as everything that comes out of a Vision Quest, of course can only come from God, himself.  The only One that can give you true direction in your life.  And the only way to truly be touched by Him is to enter His world, His environment, that He created.

So how the heck does all this talk about a Vision Quest play into fly fishing?  No, we aren’t doing a three day, three night fast when we seek out trout.  But yes, we are entering a place of natural power; trout live in some of the most beautiful places in the world and water in itself, has a natural innate healing power as displayed in the work done by Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.  And yes, we’re always fly fishing alone.  It doesn’t matter whether you arrive at a stream with five other friends.  After we all rig up, we cover our separate sections…alone.  That is why fly fishing is called “the quiet sport”.  Every time we’re out fly fishing, we’re alone in a place of natural power.  Like I indicated in a previous post on Home Pools: “it is here where clear thought is possible, where new life can be found, and where direction is received”.  Each fly fishing outing is what I call the Mini Vision Quest.  Giving you insight and direction on how to lead your life by the creator Himself.  All you need to do is seek it out.


All true, dedicated fly fishermen will relate and connect with this idea.  If you look back at quotes by all the fly fishing legends, the individuals who dedicated their life and writing to this beautiful sport, it’s pretty easy to connect the dots which all lead to the idea of seeking the Mini Vision Quest.  This is the reason why fly fishing becomes such a large part of our life.  Why it becomes a way of life.  And why it goes well beyond merely catching trout.  A lot of what you see and read today is missing this core reason of why we truly fly fish.

If you look back to the original roots of when fly fishing started, you will see the direct correlation between what this post is all about and why they fly fished in the beginning.  One of my favorite angling books was written by Izaak Walton & Charles Cotton, “The Compleat Angler”, published in 1653.  Yes, I said 1653 – 360 years ago.  And the core of it is still immensely relevant today.  I’ll eventually dedicate an entire post to this book, but I just want to leave you with one quote that speaks to the idea of seeking out the Mini Vision Quest while on the hunt for the elusive trout.

“And first, I shall tell you what some have observed, and I have found it to be a real truth, that the very sitting by the river’s side is not only the quietest and fittest place for contemplation, but will invite an Angler to it: and this seems to be maintained by the learned Peter du Moulin, who, in his discourse of the fulfilling of Prophecies, observes, that when God intended to reveal any future events or high notions to his prophets, he then carried them either to the deserts, or the seashore, that having so separated them from amidst the press of people and business, and the cares of the world, he might settle their mind in a quiet repose, and there make them fit for revelation.”

– Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler

Spirit Streams

Breathing: Why Fly Fishers Catch & Release

Breathing: Why Fly Fishers Catch & Release.  This marks the second installment of a three post series that completes what we call The Spirit Streams Experience.  Giving you insight behind why we call ourselves “Spirit Streams” which also plays into what we believe to be the core essence of fly fishing itself.

The first installment was the “Spring Creek Journey”.  Fly fishing is a journey that begins the second you pick up a rod for the first time and never ends but only intensifies year by year.  There is always something new to learn, new to master, new that will humble you, new to explore, and new to discover.  The ultimate destination will always remain in the journey of fly fishing.  That’s the beauty of our sport.  That’s the challenge of our sport.  That’s what keeps us coming back for more.  That’s what makes us fall in love with fly fishing more and more with each outing.  That’s what makes it the most beautiful sport in the world.  But just as important as the journey is to fly fishing, so is breathing, and so is what you will read in the third installment of this three post series.  But first, let’s talk breathing.

Breathing.  Real, true breathing.  No, you can’t breathe inside your house staring at a television.  No, you can’t breathe sitting inside a man-made office building staring at a computer.  No, you can’t breathe riding in your car.  No, you can’t breathe shopping for more and more stuff that you don’t need.  You get the idea.  It’s pretty hard to breathe in the society we live in today.  All of that stuff takes the breath out of you and makes you older, weaker, and more tired.  That is why it is so important to escape and experience the Real World, no not the real world that your teachers tell you about in school, I’m talking about the only Real World that’s out there.  Yes, Nature’s world.  Being a fly fisher for trout, you get to experience some of Nature’s most beautiful wonders.  Taking you to places you otherwise wouldn’t even know existed.  Allowing you to take deep, true breaths with each trout held in your hand.

A great short film was created by RC Cone and presented by Imago Fly Fishing that really captures this need in all of us to breathe.  This need only becomes more and more pronounced as the world we live in becomes more and more fake.  RC Cone put it real well when he said:

“When I lift a fish from the water to admire it, I realized I was borrowing a breath from the fish, or borrowing some of its wild energy, to rejuvenate myself and help me take my next steps.  It is an amazing thing that a fish can do that through its sacrifice of 5-10 seconds of no-breath to push me forward in my life.  That fish’s sacrifice, so close to death, helps me live.  I thought that concept was profound and realized how important deep, meaningful breaths are.”

All of my non-fly fishing friends ask me countless and repetitive times why in the world would I go fishing and keep but few trout compared to the sheer number caught.  Breathing, my friends, breathing.  They are what keeps me alive, what brings happiness, what brings meekness, what brings awe, what brings appreciation, and what brings inspiration.  Would you kill something that had such a profound impact and purpose to your life if not in need?

It takes so much sacrifice, dedication, motivation, and determination to become successful at fly fishing that once you finally reach that level, it is no longer just about hauling in a ton of trout.  You’re much more invested and connected.  It then becomes about the experience, the journey, the breaths.

Yes, here at Spirit Streams, we’re all about breathing.  Taking true, deep breaths.  Staying alive and flying free.

Spirit Streams