At the lake’s shore where we always set up camp, I was standing on the rear tire loosening the ratchet straps to take the canoe off, and Jake was reeling in the first fish of the day. We’d been out of the car for three minutes at most. I remembered doing the exact same thing as a kid when I’d come here with my grandfather.
I’ll swear to anyone that it’s not about the fish to me when I go out, that it’s about the places. And the farm lake above any other place on the planet is more about the place than the fish to me, but there are great fish in it too. JP and his wife Bobbi were in the second Jeep and I really wanted them to get the full experience out of the trip. For all I know, any trip out to the farm these days could be the last. I expect to pull up to a For Sale sign one of these days, or worse, to the news that it’s already been sold. If this was their one and only trip to the farm, I wanted it to live up to the hype I gave it every time it became the subject of conversation. I realize that no one will ever love your favorite fishing spot as much as you, but like all fisherman, I try to impress its importance to me upon others. Because like all other fishermen, I just can’t help it.
Few words have the impact when spoken that steelhead does. See? You just felt something when you read it. Steelhead. Don’t believe me? Do you remember the scene in Stand by Me, (if you don’t know the movie then stop reading. Just stop. You’re probably too young to have seen it, because everyone else in the world that’s old enough has. Find it, watch it, and then come back to this later) the scene where Ace says to Eyeball and Charlie “You guys are like my grandmother having a conniption fit. I don't see your problem. We brought a whole bunch of fishing gear, and if a cop asks us what we're doing here, we're just here to take a couple steelhead out of the river, and look what we found!” That one line set a tone of extreme maturity and coolness at that moment in the film. Suddenly, a punk, a thug named Ace became a very cool guy for a few seconds. It was a line that would have never worked, never been so powerful had steelhead been replaced by bass, or even trout. Because of the use of steelhead, the line was pure Hollywood gold. I’ve never gone for steelhead, always avoided it because of people, but even I recognize the power in the emotions the name evokes. There’s only one other word in fly fishing that comes close to grabbing the attention of fly anglers by tender regions and making their eyebrows raise, their heads tilt to one side or the other like a dog, listening to the conversation with a feeling of importance. It also happens to be connected to steelhead…Stonefly.
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I talk to my dog. A lot of people talk to their dogs so don’t start looking at me like an idiot if you’re not a dog person. My dog, I don’t care what science says, understands every word I say. When I’m climbing into the Jeep and he’s standing...
Need. NEED? What do you really need? Let's be honest, all anyone truly needs is food, water, and oxygen. Something to eat, water to drink, air to breath. Everything else we need these days was invented by humans before us and has just exploded to proportions to huge to be...
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