It's been a long time since I last fly fished. I don't know why because it is fun. I have all the gear although I should probably replace my line because it's probably so dried out, it would probably shatter on the first cast. Still....
Recently, I helped a friend and fellow writing class guy self publish his own book. He just wanted it for family and friends, not for sale. He writes short stories too and we've all bugged him plenty about what he would do with all these fun stories of his life. He finally gave in and let us help. Like the rest of us, he has a love hate relationship with his computer who he called 'you bastard' many, many times while we were setting it all up. I was very proud of him for not giving up and once we had it ready to send off, we held our breath while we waited to see if Kindle Direct Publishing would say it was a go. Of course, it wasn't but we managed to fix things and send it off again. Then he got his first real look at his book in hard copy, as a draft in the mail. I can't describe the look of WOW on his face. After checking it over and fixing some things, he finalized and ordered several copies. I got one. YAY!
A little while later, he told me he had set me and our class teacher, Eileen, who did his book cover up for a fly fishing trip with his son, a river fishing guide, on the Missouri River. While we didn't expect anything like this, we took him up on it, and on June 15, off we went. Son John had all the equipment, water, lunch and lots of great coaching. The weather was perfect until about 3pm. We floated along, throwing our lines out and watching the indicator for hits. The two little tiny flies on the leader were so small, I could not have tied them on myself or believed a fish could see them. The first fish I caught was the biggest of the day, a 20 inch rainbow, who fought me tooth and nail and jumped out of the water every so often just to make it even more exciting. We landed it and I got to cradle it and tell it thanks. Then we let it go.
Up above us on the cliffs was a bald eagle who John said sometimes comes down to the boats to get the caught fish out of the net for himself. Luckily, it stayed put and just watched while Eileen caught a couple little trout and a few whitefish. I managed to catch another nice sized rainbow but missed on a few others. After lunch, we switched places, with Eileen in the front and me in the back. It's harder from the back which is why I managed to catch John's shirt 3 times. Eileen got her first big rainbow and had quite a fight. It's fun to watch someone else get the crazed and determined look of a real fisherman. I caught one more big rainbow before the wind came up. I hate wind normally but when fishing like this, I really hated it. It tangled up my line constantly and casting became an exercise in frustration, for John and me.
At one point, I just sat down and watched. I actually looked around at the river and the rock formations, all the birds, the houses, Eileen fishing, the back of John's head....and it was okay. There's nothing quite like a big river in late spring, floating downstream, watching the world go by and being so happy to just be there. I had caught 3 of the biggest fish not in an ocean that I've ever caught in my life and they were so beautiful. It was a day I will always remember. Thanks John, both of you!