Sometimes I have to leave my rod at home. Sometimes it’s a necessity, and sometimes it’s because my wife makes me so I can show her and my daughter where I fish.
When I do leave my gear home, I walk slower. The desperation to catch fish seeps into the mud and clay next to the river.
And I notice the river more. Well, not more, just differently. I count water skitters (or whatever it is you grew up calling them).
Today I sat next to a pool and watched bugs emerge and listened to my daughter babble.
I saw fish too. They pointed their noses up river. They sunk to the bottom of deep pools. They even rose for the handful of Blue-Wing Olives I saw. I tried to point out their little splashes to my wife. She saw some of them, but not many.