“My first sporting obsession as an adult was fly-fishing…For a decade, my life revolved around…trying to deceive trout with bits of feather and floss and thread wound onto small hooks.
I caught fish: gorgeous…arctic grayling, with their luminous dorsal fins that glowed turquoise and lilac and green, until you lifted them out of the water and they began to die.
I became licensed to help others catch fish…And then, after my second or third summer of guiding…I suddenly fell out of love with fishing, because I had fallen too deeply in love with trout.
I found myself hoping that my ham-handed and meat-hungry clients wouldn’t catch anything…These animals were frantic, fighting for their lives. Forget the catch-and-release clause…I quit.
There was a related factor…I had discovered the tumble-washed ecstasy of whitewater kayaking. I started paddling the same waters I had fished, splashing down riffles, zipping into eddies, thrilled by the liquid choreography and relieved by the knowledge that, if anyone were injured or killed by this activity, it would be me, not some innocent trout.”