It’s time to go fishing. It’s been too long since I’ve thrashed the water with a fly line. I took my kids out a number of times last summer and fall, but when I go fishing with the kids, I don’t get much fishing done for myself. They’re much better anglers than I am, so I spend my time running from one boy to the other, helping him get a fish off his line and a new worm on his hook, then it’s back to the other kid to repeat the process again.
I’m thinking it’s time to call in fishin’ at work and head for the beaver ponds while the boys are still in school. Yeah, I feel a little guilty about going fishing without my little sidekicks, but Dad’s got to have some time for fishing, too.
I need to go fly-fishing much more often than I’ve been able to go in recent years. It keeps me sane. I need the steady rhythm of the cast, the peaceful quiet of the backcountry, and the occasional flurry of excitement when a fish strikes to get my mind off of work, parenting, politics, and other causes of stress. And in my case, there’s the added benefit of snagging myself in the back of the neck on a mistimed switch from backcast to forecast. You can’t think about politics or the drama of the office when you have a No. 18 prince nymph wedged past the barb in that really sensitive spot just above your collar and below your ear.
I did get a chance to do some fishing for myself in November, but that was in Louisiana, where we were fishing for spotted trout and redfish, rather than in Wyoming, where cutts, brookies and rainbows are the quarry.
And the gear supplied on that trip was lures bigger than most of the fish I catch, thrown with tree-trunk poles and bait-casting reels. I need my five-weight fly rod and some microscopic flies. Not that I expect to actually catch anything, but I’d at least like the opportunity to try.