November 29, 2021

Patience

By Dillon Osleger

Patience is often only recognized after successes reliant on its practice.

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The seasons spent watching rivers run by, the hours ferried away looking under rocks and watching the waterline for bugs hatching, the tens of thousands of casts futilely laid out into eddies to lay limp on the water; each one unique in its ratio of frustration and confusion. There is little awareness of these trials affect on my actions as I light the fireplace with a sprig of cedar to warm the cabin with scent as much as heat, sit down at a desk strewn with feathers, fur, hooks, and tools, and cast a marionette play from the memories of insects relationship with seasons and fish.

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The central character development is furthered by the pull of each string, the choice in colors, the fabrics and textures employed, all to tell the story of the stages of evolution of mayflies, stoneflies and midges. Each fly tied is nestled into a box organized by species, season, and location; as much a collection of entomology as a toolbox for catching trout.

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Slow drives down long dirt roads with eyes trained on meandering rivers. Waiting to see the ripples of feeding fish or the flashes of light reflecting off hatching mayflies. Pulling on waders, aware that the river will be no warmer than the snow around its bank, tying fly to tippet with slow frozen hands, there must be patience present to subject oneself to this in search of testing ones craftsmanship in imitating nature.

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Yet all the years one has spent patiently practicing are moot if their partner has other plans. The trout may have interest in the fly cast on the water, but they surely have none at all for the canine splashing towards them. As the sun dips beyond the horizon, the insects put on a show that we both watch, perhaps he feels the same confusion and frustration I once harbored at the inability to succeed in their capture. With time, and a bit of patience, we may just get there.

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Finding patience, whether at home, in the field, or training a companion; is a whole lot easier when you're comfortable. Polartec Alpha insulation (like Snow Peak's Flexible Insuluated Pullover) regulates warmth in response to fluctuating conditions through breathability and active insulation, allowing for one layer to stay on from activity to apres.


About Dillon Osleger

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Dillon Osleger is a scientist, multi-sport athlete, and environmental advocate driving stories, activism, and work at the confluence of society's relationship with natural environments. With an M.S in climate and soil science accompanied by years of experience in conservation and trail construction, Dillon works with nonprofits and government agencies on public land projects across North America. As a professional athlete for both his skiing and mountain biking, Dillon bridges the divide between the outdoor action sports community and environmental literacy.

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