Interpreting Dreams

An excerpt from “A Creek Trickles Through It”

On The Fly Freshwater

Sponsored By:

August 2023

By Jim Mize

Photos by Jimmy Jacobs

I had a dream.

The dream had a foggy feel to it, as if I were standing in poor light. Water lapped against my thighs and I held my 4-wt. fly rod in my right hand. The fog swirled and I recognized the hole. I was deep in the Appalachian Mountains fishing a long, slow pool where brown trout could outgrow this mountain stream.

I saw myself casting my favorite streamer, a big red fox pattern with a hot orange wing that glowed in the low light. It landed up against a heavy log and immediately stopped. I set the hook and the line stretched tight as piano wire, singing in my dream under the

Slowly, whatever I had hooked moved away from the log and went upstream. My line sliced the water following and pointing at my anticipated catch.

Who knows how long you fight a fish in a dream? It could have been minutes or days. Finally, after this lapse of time, I gained line and brought my adversary near my feet. The dark water hid him from my sight. Backing up, I planned to beach my catch on the sandbar.

As it reached the shallows, my catch stood and walked up on the beach beside me. It was a small pig.

Waking abruptly, I sat up puzzled. What could it possibly mean? Catching a pig? It had to symbolize something meaningful.

Looking outside, the sun was trying to peek over the horizon, but was being swallowed by an incoming cloudbank. A storm was rolling in. Thinking about my dream, I had a hunch. It was a premonition.  

Perhaps it meant that I should go fish that stream on this overcast day, and if! did, I’d catch, as we Southerners often refer to a big fish, a hawg.  

E-mailing work, I alerted them of my absence and went to the mountains. I hiked in to the hole I had seen in my dream with a box full of streamers. The fog swirled around the hole and my confidence built. I was living my dream.  

On my first cast, nothing happened. Then, on the second cast, still nothing. But on the third cast, I reached a little farther on my back cast and wrapped up on a hemlock branch. This part had been left out of my dream.  

The morning passed without a strike. By afternoon, I rested the hole and my arm for a full hour. Then I thrashed some more. Still nothing.  

Hawg Wild.  

By late afternoon, exhausted and hungry, I headed home wondering what my dream could have meant. As is my habit when I’ve fished this stream, I stopped at my favorite barbecue joint and had one of their vinegar-based sandwiches with enough tartness to curl your tongue. I chomped and chewed until halfway through the sandwich it hit me. My dream revealed itself as I noticed the name of the place on the menu.  

All along, I’d thought my dream meant that if! came fishing today I would catch a hawg; in reality, all it meant was that if I fished today I’d eat a hawg.  

This just proves that interpreting dreams, like many things, should be left to professionals.

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