It felt good to be fishing and catching fish.
“Wanna catch a fish pop?” He always asks the same way. I always smile. Yes. Let’s go. I do want to catch a fish. Even though I know it is not the fish we are after. I know the adventure of the river motivates him more that the act of fly fishing. I know it is the excitement of the car drive and the sounds of Cory Morrow and Waylon Jennings as he softly sings along. I know it is the journey into a part of his father’s world that convinces him he is tasting something special. Like staying up past bedtime on the Fourth of July. I know all of that. Or maybe none of it. Maybe he is teaching me as much about fly fishing as I have to give. Or at least giving me the chance to see who he is against the pure backdrop of a cold trout stream cut through ancient mountains.
It happened again and I shook my head. The moment I went to tie the flashback into the flashback pheasant tail I was diligently creating, my thread broke. It happens. Rare. But still happens. The olive strand unraveled just enough to taunt me. Hope? There was no hope. I was done with this fly and reached to throw it away, then stopped. Could I save it?
After lunch, my brother fished the seam that separated the fast water along the far bank from the slack water along the island where we ate our lunch.
We had to pull the drift boat back upstream to reach the pull out. It was our first day on the Bighole River and fishing had been slow. I pushed and my brother pulled until we reached the concrete that jutted into the current and my brother handed the rope to my father and left to get his truck. It was not a far distance to move the drift boat, but combined with a slow day fishing, I stood waist deep in the cold water a bit deflated.
It is easy to chase the big waters. I am guilty of it myself.
I had two goals on the river that day. First, catch trout. Nothing new there. Second, scout a place to take my five year old son fly fishing. My first objective influenced the second. Thus, I drove the shortest distance possible to a Colorado trout stream and sought a shallow stretch of water that would be close to the truck and fish well.