When you worked hard for a fish all day on the previous day and came up empty and then had reserved yourself to the idea that today would be more of the same, suddenly that fish, that moment, becomes the most genuine high five with a friend that’s ever happened.
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.
Paul looked at me and said something about it seeming like it would be a shame not to give it a shot, and he was right. Too good to be true or not, I tied on the smallest streamer I had, crouched, and made a bow and arrow cast sending the streamer back in deep at the top of the ledge and let it drift through.
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.