. 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’d be ashamed of the lack of lawn care, laundry, and house cleaning I get done if it was anything other than fishing causing it. But it is fly fishing keeping everything else at a minimum, so I’ve got no shame. I’m actually pretty proud that I’ve gotten to that point that I’m doing what I want to do no matter what kind of flack I hear from anyone else. Life’s too short to put fishing on the back burner for things you feel are less important. Maybe the better lesson there is figuring out what exactly is important.
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.
I tied on one more streamer, the same pattern, and made a few more casts. One more time I felt the tug and saw a glimpse of a hint of butter colored brown trout. But that fish wasn’t hooked solid, something I take full blame for as who could blame a trout for not hooking itself well enough? It was a quick chance meeting, more like the time it takes two people to pass each other on a side walk, and then it was over. And then I came to the realization that my fingers stung from the heat that the cold rain had removed from them, and I left the river.
There’s a lot to be said about a cabin with nothing in the middle of nowhere. The drive in on an old two track, splashing through mud holes and puddles is only the beginning. There’s no pavement to make the ride smooth. No white lines to stay between and no yellow lines to keep you on your side. It’s up to you to pay attention, to pick your safe speed. To avoid the rocks pushing up from below and the deep mud holes that threaten to hide bad situations in beautiful places. The trees are what keep you on the road, not paint. The road in ironically is actually your way out.