Oregon Member
Ghosting the shoreline, in and out among trees, barely a shadow to alert fish in clear waters below, cougar seeks his prey.

Cutting current, effortless and graceful, otter moves like thought from shaded shallows to rocky crevasses among submerged boulders. Playful? The experienced know: he is on the hunt.

Wings push on empty air as osprey hovers. Glance darting right and left reads instantly currents and eddies, solving with swiftness of instinct the riddle of where fish lay holding below. Latent potency of a wing-tucked dive rests ever so lightly on a breathe of wind. The explosive release waiting only the instant an unwary trout strays near the surface.

At one with pulse and nuance of the living scene that is everything real at this moment, I will my fly across half a river of inconsequential distance to a six-inch target and it splits the seam where fast meets slow. I don’t see the steelhead. I don’t have to. A connection transcending physical senses tells me he is there.

I am the predator.