. Whatever patterns I take are stuck on my hat, a couple spools of tippet, and my small net. I don’t worry about running out anymore. I don’t think it’s that I’ve become such a proficient angler that I never lose flies in trees or break off fish, because I still do those things frequently enough to say I’m still fairly good at them. I do it because it’s just simpler, not carrying all the extra crap with me on a creek.
I really do remember all the details to my fishing trips. I remember catching walleye on chunks of hot dogs on Fish Creek at my great aunt and uncle’s camp on family weekends. I remember drives to the Judge’s camp, a good friend of my Grandfather. Collecting worms by a stream that passed by a barn. Bull frogs in the weeds along the bank and a goat that couldn’t be trusted once you sat on the end of the dock.
Fishing is just fishing. That’s how I look at it. It’s the greatest thing in the world that you can do, but it’s still just fishing. If you try to make it more than that then you lose something in its simplicity as far as I’m concerned, trying to make it more than what it is. Which is me, a fly rod, a line with a hook, and hopefully a smart fish having a bad day or a stupid fish in the right place at the right time.
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.