. 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.
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.
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.