Once I was big enough and strong enough to work the gates it was like I’d become an adult. In my young mind, being trusted enough to keep the cows where they belonged, and taking the place of my Grandfather at the gates, I was a man. It’s really something to look back on a grandfather getting older and letting you do the work because you are too, and to realize now that you didn’t realize then, it meant you were both getting older and that all things pass with time, including us.
The stream’s last defense was the thick alders that lined it, so thick that I doubt thorn bushes could have done much better at all to keep us out. The Lost Boys had told me no waders, you’ll destroy them in there in two minutes. I left my waders behind but questioned it of course, but now I could see, I could confirm. Pushing though the undergrowth, I felt a stinging on the back of my left calf, and then the same on my right thigh as alder branches that were intertwined better than the fibers in a rope held me back as I tried to push through. They grabbed fly rods, slashed at faces, pulled hats from heads, but in the end the will of the fly fishermen was more than they could hold back, and we stood at the water’s edge.
- Tags: 3wt, Adirondack brook trout, adirondacks, beaver meadow, black flies, bluegill on the fly, Brook trout, Camp Sagamore, catch and release, fish bum, fish stories, fishing lessons, fishing memories, fly fishing, Fly Fishing Adventure, glass is not dead, in search of, life experience, life lessons, north country, small stream fly fishing, trout, Trout bum, trout power, trout season, trout stream, wild brook trout, wild trout, zen and the river
But this morning I came across some pictures from up on the towers, and it lead to me thinking about things that I took away from my short time in that industry. Mostly fly fishing, and a pair of old friends. In the picture I’m looking down past my boots at the featureless landscape four-hundred and fifty some odd feet below. But it wasn’t the height, and it wasn’t the memory of that specific job that made the picture special. It was my boots supporting me up on the narrow, cold steel up in the wind. They’re my wading boots.
- Tags: Adirondack brook trout, adirondacks, bass fishing, Bass on the fly, bluegill on the fly, Brook trout, Brown Trout, catch and release, fish bum, fish stories, fishing gear, fishing lessons, fishing memories, fishing stories, Fly Fishing Adventure, fly fishing lessons, fly gear, learning to fly fish, life experience, life lessons, mental health, one more cast, oriskany creek, small stream fly fishing, tower climber, tower dawg, tower dog, tower hand, tower rigger, trout season, wader review, waders, wading boots, wild brook trout
I’ve never considered myself a sappy, emotional, or sensitive person. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure I’ve done my best through a lot of my life to be just the opposite of those things. But alone by myself on a river or stream, I’ll admit that the water, and the fish, do bring out those qualities from somewhere inside me from time to time. That’s most likely the healing factor people talk about water having. Us fly anglers just happened to stumble upon the fact that a brightly colored fly line forming loops above the moving water happens to enhance the healing power somehow. I’m not going to try and analyze it. That’s a rabbit hole for another day. On a warm, sunny day like this, I’m happy to simply accept it for what it is, take it for granted, and enjoy it.
- Tags: adirondacks, april first, balance in life, Bass on the fly, bluegill on the fly, body of water, bronzeback, Brook trout, Brown Trout, catch and release, creek, creek chub, epiphanies, fish bum, fish stories, fishing lessons, fishing memories, fishing stories, fly fishing, Fly Fishing Adventure, fly fishing lessons, life experience, life lessons, mending the line, mental health, one more cast, oriskany creek, Reflections of a Fly Rod, shelf ice, simply fish, small stream fly fishing, smallmouth bass