As we walked the dirt road in the rain, felt soles beneath wading boots hushed our steps. We remarked about all the worms lying about on the road, joking about all the flies fly fisherman tried to force feed to trout. Someone said it and we all laughed. “Trout like worms. They like worms you know.” I laughed and we carried on comically about it, but I was thinking of something else in my mind.
Now I know I’m a fisherman. I’m very aware that the word of a fisherman is to be taken lightly, or to be taken with a grain of salt, or to be completely disregarded in some instances, say, when hands are held out and the statement “It was this big” is uttered. But...
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.
...as I fished a stretch of water shed I knew pretty well. So well in fact that I felt I was giving him the wrong impression that I actually knew what I was doing. I’d tell him something like “I’m going to go crouch in those ferns and get a brookie out of that pocket behind that cropping of rocks.” Then I’d do something like just about what I said, complete with the catching of the fish on the first or second cast, and move on to the next spot. It wasn’t that I was that good, not at all. I’d just fished the hell out of the place the year leading up to this and basically knew the names and addresses of most of the brook trout on the stream. Take me to the next stream down the road and I’d have been the normal bumbling idiot tripping and stumbling on slippery river bottom stones and scratching my head as to where the fish were that I usually am.