As I walk through ancient pines under a fire lit sky, a protruding mountain blocks the sun from all below it. A lake surrounded by houses and forest blend into its reflection. I grip a rod tightly as I cross a stream that seems to be made of needles when it runs through my legs. I remember the countless times I have fished and failed, yet here I am.
I make a motion I have made thousands of times as my line slices the water then sinks below. I look around and see a chipmunk scurrying up a tree, a Steller's Jay chasing a bug, and an Osprey scanning the water.
My rod starts to twitch and I set the hook. A skittering flash of pink and green leaps making a fold in the still water. A rainbow trout peels my line soothingly. He seems to reflect all of the forest in his deep yellow eyes. The trout stops wrestling once in my hand and I release him to the lake.
I continue the catching and releasing until one trout catches the hook deep in his mouth. I try to keep him in the water, but it is too hard to find the hook. One minute passes until I get the hook out. I quickly place him in the water trying to revive him, but he just floats belly up. I watch his jaw moving slowly up and down and his beautiful colors start to dim while a streak of blood runs from the gills. I am too late.
All things die for food or other reasons. I just feel that I wasted a life. With that thought I keep him and make him my dinner.