High Risk – High Reward!

A couple weekends ago my love for fly fishing adventures got the better of me and I set off into the Snowy Mountains in pursuit of some high country magic. With an added opportunity to take one of my boys along, my middle son Ben was very excited to come along and I was happy for his company. We left after school on Friday afternoon and arrived at our remote camping location by about 11:30 pm. Spotting some wild deer, brumbies and a few other surprises kept us entertained along the way, as did watching the outside temperature drop as we found some altitude. After yet another great night sleep in the swag in the mountain air, the next morning dawned with a sense of great excitement and expectation. Today was the day we ventured into new territory in search of good trout numbers. It’s going to take effort to get there I told Ben, but with high risk comes high reward, or so I hoped!

Normally I hike into remote rivers or streams to try and escape other fisherman and less fished waters, but today I was trying something new. Camped by a small remote lake in the Jagungal Wilderness, my goal was to kayak the 5km or so to the rivermouth and fish from there. Given the mountains and gorges, this particular stretch river is inaccessible by hiking; however a solid kayak would get us there in relatively good time and leave any other would-be adventurers behind – the more remote the better! Everything went perfectly. We both had our own kayaks and enjoyed the crisp mountain air and surrounding landscapes as we paddled along. After a solid 90mins, the lake slowly became a river and I found a beautiful mountain river with clear, cold water and hopefully plenty of fish; high risk, high reward! 

I was quick to set up and our flies were even quicker to hit this unfished water. Second cast of the day the water exploded with a fantastic take and I had soon landed a beautiful rainbow trout. ‘High risk, high reward Ben!’ I shouted. This was going to be an epic day. That was the last fish we saw for the entire day……

It was lucky the scenery was so beautiful, because the fishing was anything but. Flow rates were incredibly low, and all my trophy fish had decided to find homes elsewhere it seemed. In amongst the crystal clear waters, and stunning scenery, not another fish was seen, let alone caught. After a few more hours of pushing up river we admitted defeat and made the long hike and even longer kayak back to camp. High risk, high reward soon turned to a discussion on risk big, lose big! It makes me wonder what sort of things are worth the risk of investment without any guarantees of a return? 

Whilst I am certainly not talking about financial risks, I am most definitely referring to moments or times in our lives when we all have to make critical decisions on whether to invest or not invest. These investments could be in the form of time, resources, emotional energy or even which school we send our kids to! Whatever it looks like, you only get out what you put in, and of late I have been particularly challenged around where I am investing my own time, efforts and emotional energy. 

Whilst there are many underlying themes that come through the Bible, when examining the life of Jesus and his teaching, the call to love and care for others is on top of the list. Why would a universe creating God, unrivaled in power and might leave commandments of love and service to others as His enduring legacy? Whilst I am still growing in learning in many areas, I am confident of this; investing time in caring for others will never return void. To put it simply, when we look to the needs of others above our own, not only does that person feel cared for, blessed, loved etc, but so do we. If you are feeling flat, empty or lacking in purpose within yourself, then perhaps making a decision to invest in someone else with your time, kind words, resources, or actions, could be the first step to feeling contentment, satisfaction and joy within yourself. Not only because you made a difference to someone else’s day, but also because you were living out God’s greatest command, to ‘love each other just as I have loved you’ – John 15:12. In that you will be blessed. It may be daunting to put yourself out there, but remember high risk, high reward; an investment into following God’s teaching is a solid platform for a good return! 

Let’s continue to be a blessing to others where we can PCS. What a privilege it is to be part of this great school community. 

And even though the trout weren’t to be found on my mystery river, how cool it was to spend time with my boy. I’d call that a reward that was worth the risk!


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