Back 40: Who I Call Happiness

A deep pool
Water as clear as the air I see
She lives there
My happiness
I know this
Though I’ve never seen her
Not physically
I’ve never touched nor held her vermiculated structure
So I believe
Despite all my efforts to prove otherwise
It’s deep and the water is moving
But I see nothing
So I chase
My specter
It’s better this way
If ever I saw her
My vision would change
If ever I held her slippery skin and vermiculated structure
Then I would know something too permanent
So I cast
So I hope
So I fool myself with artificial flies
And the trout, who I call happiness
Lives there.

Daniel J. Rice has been a fly angler for more than 30 years and has held such occupations as hydrologic technician for the USGS in Wyoming and manager of fly-fishing trip sales for Montana Angler in Bozeman. He is the author of The Unpeopled Season: A Journal of Solitude and Wilderness and editor of Familiar Waters: A Lifetime of Fly Fishing Montana. Rice is also the founder of Riverfeet Press Books and lead guide at Riverfeet Fly Fishing;

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