Big Pine Creek in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada certainly ranks among the prettiest streams I’ve ever fished--shaded by big pines (duh!) with large pools and abundant trout. I came around a bend, and found one of those signature holes.
A five-foot waterfall dropped into a green pool, a good eight feet deep. Shallow and slow water along the banks framed a strong current that went deep and swift through the center. Just where big trout feed.
I threw in at the near edge, hooked and landed a nice ten incher. Gently released, he had the chance to become a daddy. Now for the best spot, the one I’d been working toward. I pressed on a few more sinkers, needing the weight to reach the deeper water leading to the tail of the hole.
I dropped the line in at the center of the waterfall, but on the downstream edge. Out far enough to avoid snags, but needing the current to carry it deep. The line plunged.
Then, the motion stopped. Not even a tug to hint at a bite, but something stopped it. A snag or a big one? Gambling on the latter, I set the hook firmly. Bingo. He began to move. I kept the pressure on. The rainbow hit every corner of that big pool, going almost wherever he wanted. Almost.
But with each turn I pulled a little more line in, gently encouraging him in my direction, letting the flex in the split bamboo fly rod wear him out. With a heart that had almost stopped, and breath that certainly had, I finally led him onto the bank. A beauty, a good 15”, and well over a pound. Yeah, the one in the pic above.
Many times we find ourselves in deep water, pulled by a strong current that takes us where we have no desire to go. We get overwhelmed.
When that hits me, I try to think about deep water trout. Smaller fish only briefly invade that territory. They’ll dart in for food, then retreat to the calmer shallow edges. Like my ten-incher. Only the larger, stronger trout stay in deep water. Like the fifteen-inch trout.
God promises to never let the water get deeper than we can deal with. 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures us, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
When I’m in deep water, God must believe I can handle it. He’ll provide the strength and wisdom I need to get through it. So, rather than despair at the depth, I can build some confidence that God thinks I can make it. Who am I to argue with him? I may not have a clue what to do, but God does. Although, I sometimes wish he had less confidence in me.
Kick Starting the Application
What are some deep waters you’ve been forced to navigate? What helped you get through them? What make it more difficult? What deep waters do you face now, or that you see around the next bend of the stream? Specifically for you, how can you craft a strategy to get through them? What role does God play in that for you? Do you need to increase his role? How can you do that?