It’s 3 am, and I am wide-awake. My alarm is set for 6 am. Three hours of good sleep-time left, and I am squandering it: tossing and turning, not being able to put three good winks together.
It’s not caffeine that’s keeping me awake, nor is it bad pizza. I’m going fishing tomorrow, and this only happens the night before I’m either going fishing or to the urologist.
I tell myself to forget about it. I’m too old to get worked up about fishing. After all, I go almost every weekend. No big deal. But, no matter how many times I tell myself that this is silly, it doesn’t help. Something within me that I don’t understand is keeping me awake.
So, what to do when laying there in bed, hoping that the sandman will return? Here are four things I’ve tried to help me make the best use of time while lying awake in bed.
As I lie there, I consider The Big Questions of Life. This seems to expand my mind, which is often traumatic enough in itself to put me right to sleep. I ask myself questions that the great thinkers throughout the centuries have pondered: Is there meaning and purpose to life without fly fishing? Why do spin cast guys catch more trout than fly fishermen? What happens when I die; will my wife throw away my fly fishing equipment? If God is good, why does He allow 7x tippet?
Praying is another way to redeem the time. I thank God for my wonderful wife, my deceased parents, my precious children, and my nymph rod. I ask God what I should do when somebody cuts ahead of me in the run I’ll be fishing tomorrow. I pray that my fishing buddy, Doover ,will catch more fish than I do. God always seems to answer that prayer. I thank Him for the beauty of the river, the trees, the sky, and the trout. I ask forgiveness for…. Sorry, this part is private.
It also helps to remember the folly of past sleepless nights. Probably my first sleepless night was in Colorado. The very evening before I went fishing, the Denver Post fishing report had said, “If one could place a stone at every spot where a trout rose during that half hour right after sunrise, one could walk all the way across this pristine mountain lake without getting his feet wet.”
If there was ever a more sure thing than death and taxes, this was it. I was going to tear them up in the morning!
What actually happened the following morning was five hours of nary a bite with nothing rising but my blood pressure. Not only was the fishing report exaggerated, the lake was as pristine as an ashtray. The only splashes on the water were from stones being skipped by parentless children.
Finally, if I still haven’t fallen asleep, I get up and write an article for BlogFlyFish.com. If I can’t sleep, maybe I can at least help others get some shut-eye.