By this point in the evening, you’ve come to respond to the faceless voice from the poling platform behind you as though it were the voice of the Almighty himself. Earlier on this February day you reacted to it’s instructions like they were learned suggestions. Hearing, “2 o’clock, 45 feet out.” you would hesitate, peer into the water, try to confirm the truth of this phrase. But you learned this wasn’t a question, or request he was presenting, and you had better not act like it was. You had to take it on faith alone. He is Moses from atop the Mount, staff firmly in hand, and when you waited for proof that those statements were true, if you waited to act on knowledge instead of faith alone, it was too late. The school was scattering, the Reds were on the run. You were trapped in the Hell that is only seeing the target after it has made itself no longer a target.
“Ok, 11 o’clock, 50 feet out.” Is the lastest commandment. You stip furiously. While He poled you around, looking into, what is to you, the unseeable, you have been blind casting; flailing about because action seemed better than non-action. It probably wasn’t. So now you are left with too much line on the water and a frantic need to obey. So you strip as fast as you can, until you have a manageable amount of line on the water. And then you try to defy gravity.
The rod is drawn quickly back. You line hand is hauled down and the water sucks on the line with all the tension it can muster. Your 9 foot long rod is bowed beautifully. Suddenly it is no longer a floppy willowy stick, it becomes a fiercely well engineered piece of equipment. Arching to exactly the right shape to drag 25 feet of line smoothly away from the greedy water and send it flowing back in a perfectly straight line. If you were a better man, this is all the energy you need to shoot that line perfectly forward to 11 o’clock, 50 feet out. While this is His word, you are not a Righteous man with ease. You will have to work at it.
So, you bring the line forward and shoot out 10 feet of line, stopping it short of laying it down on the water and sending it back into another back cast. On your forecast the second time you shoot more line and again reverse course, drawing back into a backcast. By now, He has got to be impatient, you start to think. He gave a simple command, and yet you dally. Your floating flyline can walk on water, and yet you whip your fly around in the air rather than following the command. You are working feverishly to get the fly to 50 feet. A better man could have done it long ago. But that man would not have had to work like you are. Strained to obey. This straining has certainly cost you fish in the past, and He MUST be frustrated.
On the third try you are at 50 feet and with a snap against the pole, you shoot your remaining line. The snap, you know, means you have worked too hard, exerted more energy than is necessary. You had one too many false casts. With more faith in yourself, you could have shot to 50 feet on 2 false casts instead of 3. No, matter, the fly in in the water.
The instant the fly hit the water, He said, “Ok Wait.” and you do. You gaze into the distance. Straining to see the Truth as He does. To see the fish, know it’s direction and how close it is to the fly. To eat that apple of knowledge and thus relegate Him to the man that pushes the pole, rather than He who Knows. It is a goal you will never attain. You think maybe you see a shadow where He is gazing, or a flash. That is as close as you will get on this day. “Ok, strip!” is the third command and you stip your line.
Three, foot long strips in, and the line goes taught. You raise the rod tip quickly and firmly; saying in your head, “Just come up tight, don’t try to rip his face off.” Now the fight in on. Silently, behind you, without your knowing, a fist shoots up into the air. A small celebration from atop the mount. It was your success He was after and your success He is cheering, unbeknownst to you.