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I commenced this season’s Rivernotes with a poignant quote from John Muir a stalwart of ecological thinking:
“Rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”
This quote encapsulates the quintessence propelling us to read Rivernotes, to champion environmental conservation and cherish our fleeting moments exploring or daydreaming amidst the wild’s embrace.
The privilege that has been taking the mantle of Rivernotes and carrying it throughout the grand and hallowed landscapes that cradle Atlantic salmon has been an immense, albeit ineffable, honor.
Like any profound journey, mine was punctuated with peaks and valleys, from the euphoria of landing my first salmon of the year on the Bonaventure to the disappointment of reaching Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula and finding that barely any salmon had arrived before me. I spent a lifetime of nights nestled on a humble foam mattress in the bed my truck under a sky of stars with only a net separating me from the relentless mosquito brigade – these, among all between, are the vignettes that grace my present and future reminiscence.
As magnificent as the landscapes were, it was the people who truly enriched my sojourn(s). While many days and nights were spent alone, those all blend into a vague mist. Time with others was the most memorable. Some of those adventures were recounted here, and the more personal moments, cemented in the deep recesses of my mind.
What I learned this summer speaking with people, seeing the rivers, and sacrificing time with friends and family is simple: what is best for salmon is best for people.
If I may, I’d like to share a nugget of wisdom gleaned from my journey: allow yourself to listen. Listen to people, the water, and the fish. Listen with your ears and your eyes. Most of all, listen with your mind; be open. When we prioritize the well-being of salmon, we advertently nurture ourselves.
From the deepest recesses of my emotional being, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you who accompanied me on this journey. Thank you for every moment you spent reading and finding resonance in my words, while sharing in the boundless beauty of salmon country. I know how deep the passion for Atlantic salmon conservation is, this has been and will be one of the great honors of my life.
As always, please share Rivernotes with friends who might appreciate these stories. Each share is a ripple, and many can become a wave of change.
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… stay sharp, and tight lines!