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The Trout and the Trickster


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The Trout and the Trickster

Michael OHara

Michael Robartes

Trout season opens here in the North Country today. As a fly fisherman and paranormal investigator, I have the opportunity to see the Trickster phenomenon from both sides. This allows for a bit of a different view on the behavior of UFOs (whatever they are) , aliens (whatever they are), and denizens of the spirit world (whatever they are). There is also insight to be had here about the nature of this thing we call Time.

 Consider my hobby:

I get up on a nice Spring or Summer day, and decide that I will enjoy it by going fishing. I load up my equipment, and head to a stream. Standing on the side of the stream, I can sometimes see the trout from above, swimming in the current. I also cast my reflections and shadows on them. They spend much of their time watching the skies, since often that is where they find their food. Sometimes, I see them scatter when I make a sudden shadow movement and an unidentified object suddenly appears in their sky. Sometimes, I may make a bad cast and suddenly a strange yellow line disrupts their sky. But it usually doesn’t take long before they go back to their normal routine.

The current of the stream flows always in one direction for them. Whatever is upstream will eventually come to them. That is their fate that cannot be changed. Whatever is downstream can never return.  For the trout, it is the Great Truth. It is the flow of their Time. But I, as the fisherman, stand above this current and I am not subject to it. I can see what is both upstream and downstream from the trout for a long way. I can dip into the stream at any point I like and make things appear or disappear. Hell, I can even pick up something that has flowed downstream from the trout and take it back and put it back in upstream. Then the trout sees it come by again! How can this be?! To the trout, this is impossible!

But the fisherman also stands in his own flowing current of Time. As far as we can tell, it flows in one direction as inevitably as the trout’s stream (although closer analysis suggests this may not always be the case). But why could there not be beings who stand outside of our stream of time watching us. They would be able to see our “past” and “future”. They could even manipulate it by moving things up or downstream.  And who knows, maybe these beings stand in some sort of current of their own, so that there is always another Time.

 This is the (highly simplified) core of J.W. Dunne’s notion of serial time. I think it is no coincidence that one of the great thinkers on Time also published a book on fly fishing.

But back to the stream. I look around in the air and in the water to see what kinds of things the trout might be feeding on, the real things that are a part of their world. Then, I look in my fly box for artificial constructions that look similar with which I may be able to trick the trout. I am the great Trickster of their world. Occasionally, if nothing seems to be working, or if I am just bored, I will tie something on my line that looks like nothing they have ever seen, just to see how they will react. Sometimes they flee in fear, but sometimes they will strike it out of aggression or just curiosity. Maybe they tell their friends later of the strange beast they saw in the stream.

If I am successful in tricking a trout into thinking my fly is real, it pursues my fly, bites it, and is hooked. It may put up a struggle, but I draw it out of the stream that is its world, up into a new world outside of the current. Some people may keep the trout for food, in which case it is simply never seen again in its world. I am almost entirely a catch-and-release fisherman. I trick the trout, torture them, drag them out of their world, maybe take a picture, and then try my best to release them back into the stream relatively unharmed except for some physical and psychological scars from their abduction experience. Occasionally, one of them will swallow the hook. Then my only option is to cut the line and release the trout back into the water with an “implant.”


It is a cruel hobby to be sure, but it is not done out of malice. It is done out of appreciation of the beauty of the fish and their world and wanting to be a part of it, even if it is to play the role of Trickster.

Maybe the trout sit around a rock at night and speculate about the meaning of these strange occurrences in their world. What are these strange visions we see in the sky? How do we explain the violations of Time that seem to occur? Could it be that there are beings who exist outside the Current who can operate outside of Time? If such being exist, why does it seem like their interaction with us consists mostly in tricking and deceiving us? What is the purpose of the abductions? What does it all mean??

 Meanwhile on the bank of the stream, the Tricksters end the day, head to the pub, and the one who caught the most fish or biggest fish drinks for free.  

I read a report today that, once the weather is suitable, the Department of Environmental Conservation is going to to start stocking the streams with trout. But that is a whole other post…