all this talk of fishing has stirred up some old memories. this post may get a bit long, so i apologize. but i want to tell you a tall tale about fishing.
when i was young and growing up in ohio, we'd fish mostly farm ponds for bluegill and bass. there were the worm bait guys and the artificial bait guys but they seemed to get along okay. one time a neighbor brought over a fly rod and i was entranced.
there wasn't really anybody around who could teach me the proper way of using a fly rod, so i read some books ((yeah, it was that long ago. . . no dinterweb). it took me about 5 years before i could actually cast and have the fly land anywhere near where i was aiming. and every now and then i would be rewarded for my persistence with a small trout. i saved up my pennies to buy equipment. and many years later my dad gave me, for a birthday gift, a kit to build my own rod. (i still have that rod and still use it).
okay. fast forward. i'm married and our son is working on a horse ranch in montana. some of you may know of it. if you have seen the movie 'a river runs through it' with brad pitt, the fishing scenes were filmed on that ranch. the blackfoot river runs through the back of the property.
well, we go out to visit our son one summer and i bring along the flyrod. it is montana, after all and there is this river, y'know?
one morning, i get up early to sneak down to the river. and my darling wife pokes her head out of the sleeping bag with this sweet early morning smile and says: 'where ya goin'?' down to catch a fish, says i. ahem, she interjects, down to TRY and catch a fish, eh? (yep, that's her. all the way down to the ground.)
can i come? she asks.
you bet! hurry up and get dressed.
so, off to the river we go... (some of you have figured out where this is going, i'm sure)
i begin the religious routine of the morning cast while my lovely companion sits under a tree and watches.
about 30 minutes pass and she gets up and announces: 'okay, i think i've got it.'
she walks forward, arm outstretched and i surrender both the rod and my spot on the perfect rock. and i step away.
she tangles the line around her feet two or three times. but with a patience i have rarely witnessed, she persisted.
'what do i do if i catch one?' she asks with the simple directness of one who is utterly confident.
i choke back the first couple of knee-jerk responses that flash into my head and try to respond calmly:
'i would say...'
that's as far as i got.
'No Really! What do i do!?'
i am standing now, staring slack-jawed at a perfectly taut line. a bent rod tip that can not be faked and a commotion in the water that could mean only one thing.
you guessed it. my beautiful wife, after a total of 40 minutes of fly fishing was about to land a 12 inch brook trout out of the blackfoot river in montana.
was i embarrassed? you bet. was i humiliated? oh yeah, way down deep inside.
but i was also really proud and delighted. we giggled and laughed and danced around and in the end returned her trophy to the river.
on the way back to our cabin, after removing the epic fly, my wife declares: 'we're going into town. i want to find a tattoo parlor to get a tattoo of this fly!'
and we did. and she did. but she won't let me show you a picture, because it's in a very secret place...
Ooh, I just found this thread. I really want to learn fly fishing this summer! There is a free 1 day introduction at Orvis (expensive yuppy fishing and hunting store) about an hour away from me. I was going to last summer, but wasn't really settled enough to learn anything new.