The marine layer covered the lower river in a dense, impenetrable cloud. The mist shrouded the river transforming and turning a once familiar place into one cloaked in mystery. But slowly,as I wound my way up the river, that cloud dissipated and gave way to a glorious morning.
I arrived at a likely spot and got out of the truck to look around. The view from my high perch revealed the fish. It was a little farther out than normal due to the high water but it was there all the same. This was a fish holding in a spot that few people ever see and even fewer fish to. I watched the fish for several minutes as he surfed an underwater wave of the turbulent flow, resting in a breadbox sized cushion created by a spine of bedrock. He was deep in the tail out. It was heard to imagine that he could hold in this spot in these flows and yet there he was. Despite these conditions, he barely needed to flap a fin to remain in place, his aerodynamic body working with the current rather than against it. Similar to a wing on a plane where air flows along the wings leading edge to create lift, the water flow over the fish actually pushes the fish down and keeps him in the unseen underwater eddy. This soft spot, this "soap dish" was a place that this fish could hold for hours, days or weeks. It was perfect and that is why he was there.
I watch mesmerized as the fish effortlessly holds, moving only slightly from side to side. He is rather large for a summer fish, as these early fish can be. Bright as a nickle and not a fin out of place. This fish is pristine. I watch his mouth open and close, and his gills pump oxygen to a heart that has brought him this far. This fish has endured much to get to this spot and he has found his home for the summer. The amazing will to further his kind is strong, his internal homing device more precise than any electronic gadget we know. All of the factors that trigger his initial push up the river are mysterious and unknown. I watch for a few more minutes and leave the spot without fishing, just satisfied with this early brief visual encounter.
This is one of God's great creatures. I am awed to be able to see and chase these fish on a river that defies description. I too have found a resting place, it is in the protection of God, the maker of heaven and earth.
Where is your resting place?
Psalm 18:2-The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;