While fly fishing many years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota, I came to understand that trout can be caught in very clear and shallow water, but it is not as easy as one thinks! My first year of fishing in spring creeks was like trying to catch the proverbial brass ring on the merry-go-round. No matter how close I seemed to get to the elusive Brown, he always seemed to be just out of my reach. Usually, they would see me before I would see them.
Then one day I discovered that trout, in general, have what the fly fishing experts call a “blind spot.” In shallow water, where the depth is 18 inches to two feet deep, a trout can see in a radius of about four feet in diameter. That means if you fish directly behind them (say around seven feet), they cannot see you. Pretty cool discovery, right? So now when fly fishing a spring creek and see rising trout, I look for one trout instead of 20, and I look for the best way to get into his blind spot. Poor creature, by the time he finds out that I am there, he’s on the end of my line! The next thing you need to know is, at that time in my life, I didn’t practice a lot of catch-and-release. As a matter of fact, by the time those fish figured out that they have been had; I was usually saying grace over them.
In the world of fly rods, it’s a good thing to get into the trout’s blind spot. However, in the world of a Christian, our blind spot (when gone undetected) can make you Satan’s catch of the day. Here are three ways that you can keep from being the next meal of the great deceiver.
KEEP SWIMMING--In the world of spiritual battles it is best to not tread water too long. Let me put it another way--idleness is the devil’s workshop. We need to stay alert. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Staying alert and self-controlled will help keep you out of your blind spots.
SWIM WITH OTHERS--There is strength in numbers. One thing I have learned about fly fishing for trout in shallow streams is that they normally swim together. They alert each other to any movement above the surface of the water. There are times in our walk with Christ that we need to be alerted; by those we call brothers and sisters in Christ, to the predators that are in our blind spot. Considering that Satan is probably our biggest predator, it’s probably a good thing that we have people who care about us enough to tell us when we are falling into a trap. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
ALWAYS STAY CLOSE TO COVER--The very first thing a trout does when they see me is swim for cover and they don’t come out until I am out of sight. Sometimes we get caught off guard and walk right into a trap. At times our pride takes us into that trap, and at other times it is our rationalization that places us in harm’s way. At that moment, there is no time for dialogue or moment for reasoning skills. There is only one option left—FLEE!!! In 2 Timothy 2:22 Paul tells his young Bishop Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts…”
During the summer, when time permits, I look forward to my day off and the opportunity to cast a fly in the direction of an unsuspecting Brown or Rainbow. I know one thing for certain: if I come across a spring creek, I am going to do my best to stay within the blind spot of every trout I meet. My whole day of fishing is to catch them off guard and entice them with a morsel of fake food. I get excited when I play this game of catch-and-keep, ah… I mean catch-and-release. But make no mistake about it: as Satan goes after you, he is not playing a game—he is playing for keeps. Beware my brothers and sisters: KEEP SWIMMING, SWIM WITH OTHERS, and ALWAYS STAY CLOSE TO COVER.
This is Pastor Whalen wishing you joy in Jesus!