By Mark Reese
By all accounts this year’s Kickin’ It On The Creek was another successful event. It is gratifying to see such events be a success for the local community. Large crowds, however, are not my thing, so this past week John Witt and I enjoyed our own form of entertainment called “Leggin’ it on the Creek.
Weather throughout the summer has made it very difficult to fish while wading local creeks and rivers. Some dry weather and warmer temperatures have changed this somewhat so this week we were able to make a trip to the creek and to the Cumberland River. A hike down the creek- side to a stretch that we had never reached before provided some beautiful pools of water and some pristine surroundings. We had beads of sweat pouring off us during the grueling hike to reach the area, but it was well worth the scenic passage. Four- wheeler trails provide a walkway, but I do wish that folks who enjoy this type of outing would be more mindful of the terrain. Ruts and dug- out ditches have altered the course of feeder streams, and the silt produced by trails across the creek are detrimental to fish spawning.
A later in the week trip to the Cumberland River was also a highlight that I really enjoyed. It was only our second trip to the river this year as high water has made wading in the strong current impossible. Wading the rocks, boulders, and river-worn crevices in the bedrock of this body of water is extremely difficult and coupled with the strong current it gives the body a strenuous workout. As time takes its toll on the body, trips to this river may become a memory in future years.
So, how was the fishing on these two trips? For this year it would probably be classified as pretty good, but overall it was just average. But was it the fish caught, or the experience of being outside in the surrounding forests that was the real objective?
Deep, green pools of clear water with large boulders in the background is an image of the creek that never leaves my mind. Drifting fall leaves signal that another year is drawing to a close. Falling walnuts, buckeyes, and hickory nuts signal that winter is on the way.
The vastness of being alone on a river that stretches so wide and so long makes you wonder about the little spot you occupy in this world.
As the sun began to drop and I looked upstream at the river as it flowed, it seemed as if millions of diamonds suddenly appeared. And as the day settled to evening the stillness of the surrounding forest provided a symphony of silence that was as soothing as a lullaby.
Psalm 46:10 echoes this stillness with the verse of “Be still and know that I am God.” One cannot immerse him or herself in such settings without realizing that there is a greater power than us that provides such beauty.
I know that I am different from most in this fast- paced technological world. I am thankful to God that when He put the DNA in place that created my body, that it created a person who cherished the time spent in the woods versus the times spent in the cities. I wonder how it came to be that deep in my soul the fish, the dogs, the woods, the streams have become my world and one that sets me apart from the billions of people on earth.
Did we catch a lot of fish? No, but enough to enjoy the days. But that’s not really what it is all about.
The sun and the sky, the woods and the water are all that matters.