I held my coffee cup with two hands as the rain pounded the window to my left. If I could’ve fashioned a hood to funnel all the warm goodness directly to my congested sinuses, I would not have hesitated. From Tuesday through Friday, I had been under the weather with a sore throat, stuffed up nose and an achy body. Not quite enough to put me out of commission but enough to fog my brain and insert a nap into each afternoon. Saturday morning, my mental fog dissipated, even though the rain had set in.

Most people that know me would tell you I’m more likely to be outside or in a quiet place than in the middle of a crowd, other than occasional sporting events, which I’m going to less these days. A major allure of fly fishing to me is solitude, but I admire and respect the fly fishing community. One of my favorite gatherings of the year is the Maryland Fly Fishing Show, which was held yesterday. 

For the past two years, I have had a booth at the show to advertise my book, blog, and brand. Each year it has had a slightly different flavor as vendors change and more activities are added. Underneath the eye-catching displays, rare antiques, stunning art and smiling faces are the hearts of fly fishing. Some may think that is a cheesy cliche, but I see it in people’s faces and hear it in their voices. In most areas of my life involving people who are passionate about the outdoors, there is a reverence and romantic notion of their time spent in nature and their desire to conserve natural resources for future generations. 

We had perhaps the best view in the entire show from our booth, with the amazing paintings of Bruce Woodward displayed across from us. Bruce creates inspiring landscapes and beautiful, detailed paintings of trout. His talent is matched by his kindness and willingness to describe his artistic process. 

Beautiful Art by Bruce Woodward

To our right were representatives from Project Healing Waters, which helps veterans cope with physical and mental challenges. Just across the aisle was Pieper’s Peak, which inspires young women through outdoor education adventures. Many other non-profit organizations like Trout Unlimited and Casting for Recovery were also present, sharing their great work. Small businesses and sole proprietors made up the rest of the crowd, brought together by the desire to connect via fly fishing. 

Every interaction I had with each person I met was filled with positive energy and thoughtful comments. As the show came to an end, I looked back out the window and saw the sun was shining. I hadn’t noticed before because all the energy inside the building had brightened my day.

Keep Mending…

A Solitary Time on The River

One Reply to “Happy To Be in A Crowd”

  1. Lovely event! I am sure it was challenging to take it all in and enjoy the various displays! Connecting with other dedicated fisher people must have been a treat!
    I am so glad you went!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *