There is an empty camp nearby;
I have a key. I cower there.
And watch the battle in the sky
Until the storm and day are spent.
The rain has stopped, but water from the roof
Drops sulkily. The stars come out
And still the way toward home is dark.
I stoop below the branches spreading
From the birches’ snow-white trunks;
The cobwebs hang like snares across the trail
And water lies in unseen pools along the path.
I’m glad, at last,
To see the village lights.
-Dana S. Lamb
There's a particular book I keep in my office, it's old and well worn. It was given to me a few months back, donated because no one else wanted it, but it was assumed that I would take it and give it a good home. I like to think I have.
Where the Pools Are Bright and Deep has become a staple for me because of the inspiration that it brings whenever I need it. This book is not one that you'll pick up and not be able to put down, in fact, I found it to be quite the opposite. Lamb has comprised the book, much like other angling authors, as a collection of short stories; but, these are not simply stories, more like a glimpse into someone's day. There's really no beginning and conclusion.
These one to three-page narratives, written alternately in both first and third person, are short enough that you can escape yourself for just a few moments, only to return to life a little wiser than before.
Lamb describes the life of angling from an older, more sophisticated place. He takes you back to the days of aluminum fly boxes, elite tonkin cane rods, sipping scotch, and the superiority of the dry fly eating brown trout. It's a nostalgic perspective, proving that fly-fishing will always be more of an art than a sport.
If you're looking for a book to pick up for a few minutes before you start your day, or after, I highly recommend Where the Pools Are Bright and Deep. I don't think you'll be disappointed!