I’m a mess right now.
My attention is divided between this column, my favorite basketball team (University of Arizona Wildcats) and my favorite movie (“A River Runs Through It”). Passions are colliding and the result is an inability to get anything done well. I feel like the movie is winning, and I think I’ll let it.
It reminds of me of wet-wading on hot summer days in cool mountain water. You lean over boulders and throw small dry flies at trout with your 1-weight fly rod which feels so delicate in your hands a 14-inch brookie seems to have the motor to break it. There’s dust, gaps in the trees and the slow numbing of your toes while your hat soaks another ring of sweat.
But the story of Norman and Paul Maclean deepens. Brothers fishing together – one in love, one in debt – their ability to use fly fishing as their escape is almost over.
“Oh, I’ll never leave Montana, brother.”
Paul’s right. Whether he means he doesn’t want to move, or he’ll never get the chance, the quote is tragic. It’s foreshadowing, dramatic irony a bunch of other literary terms, but you don’t have to know them to get it. With the Rev. Maclean and Norman watching, Paul, doomed by his tragic flaw attains perfection in his craft of using a fly to catch fish. The scene is beautiful.
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