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.
We never got run out, and I have to believe that whoever owned the property knew people fished there all the time by the beaten dirt path from the road down the steep incline leading into the bottom of a deep bowl full of water. I’d never do it today, because I now have a respect for other people’s property and an equal fear of being a father who would have to explain to my children after being picked up at the police station that they should do as I say, not as I do. It seems that I’ve grown responsible, dare I say slightly wiser as I’ve gotten older. All be it with an apparent lack of adventure that can accompany the two if allowed. I’m not saying I’m not adventurous anymore, just that when I choose my adventures, they’re more based on possible outcomes these days than they used to be.
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At some point it becomes about you and the water, and everything else just falls into place. Fish only matter when they’re caught, but don’t ruin a day when they’re not, and life balances out for those brief times in between all other life.