Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Decade of Hits

We're not talking about the Allman Brothers album.  We are talking about life. When I turned thirty my wife got me a guided trip on the Salmon River.  It was a learning experience on waters that I fished when I could, usually unsuccessfully.  These were the days of slinkies and chuck & duck.  Really not my bag of tricks, but it was the norm back then.  To say thanks to my wife I made a sign  to hold in case I caught a monster steelhead.  The monster fish never happened, though a decent fish was lost.  I learned some new waters and enjoyed the gift.  I saved the sign and hung it in our garage as a reminder of happy memories.

Well a decade has gone by and my wife (and now two wonderful kids) asked what I wanted to do for my birthday.  Ideas of great fishing trips to the Gaspe, Ireland, New Zealand, and the like came to mind.  Reality came to me and I said, I really need spey casting help.  What better place than the waters I now prefer to think of as home, the Salmon River.  Ten years of fishing, ditching the slinkies, and the indicators I've come to the realization that two handed fishing is what I deem the most enjoyable.  The flies are typically elegant and flowing, the casts are graceful, the drifts are captivating, and the grabs are jolts of lightning.  I spent the day with Walt Geryk of Northeast Fly Fishing Guide Service ( Walt and I had spent a good amount of time going over some basic casts and fishing all at the same time.  Walt of course had to score a fish while going over some techniques....nice way to start the morning.  It wasn't long and I too had a grab and a decent steelie was off to the races.  I lost the fish while trying to turn it around.  No worries the take was great.  The pressure on the upper end of the river this day was heavy and the flow was low, so conditions were not ideal.  I did manage one small fish and had another jolting grab. The day for me was perfect and the knowledge I gained was worth the price of admission.  I still find the Salmon River a challenge every time I set foot in her flows. I hope this challenge, as frustrating as it can be will carry me another ten years because the rewards in life aren't measured by the size of your fish, but more the size of love in your life. The same sign, though altered slightly, and a little weathered, the same guy but looking a little like the sign, altered and a little weathered.

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