“So when are WE going fishing?” Yikes! She came back to that again. Keep your composure. Deep breath. Look her in the eye. “Really soon honey, I promise. I love you. See ya!”
February 14: Happy Valentines Day! We ate a good breakfast, played with Jack and ended up on the couch finishing off the second pot of Jamaican bean. Both of us were on our computers listening to each other typing, the cat purring and the wind chimes chiming. Some time passed when Dave asked me if I was heading to the stables today. I asked him, “Is there a reason I should not go? “Yes” he said, “we are going fishing!”
What?! This was exciting! I was finally getting to experience the Salmon River. All these years of over listening phone conversations, reading articles, hearing stories, seeing pictures, I was finally getting to experience it for myself. We backed up the car. Called Rog for a cabin and off we went.
First stop, Fat Nancy’s. I did not expect that. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a run down little convenience/tackle store. Already I was impressed. Next stop, Fox Hollow Lodge. This is where the guys join forces. Dave asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that I want to experience everything he would do when he is up here. We went to cast a few drifts, ate at Eddy’s and tied some flies. That is something I really enjoy doing, tying flies. It is like arts and crafts. As Dave was setting the alarm, he told me that we would sleep in to let the river warm up a bit. “Is that what you and your friends would do?” “No” “So, why are we?”
February 15: 6:00 am. 4 degrees Fahrenheit. I was stoked! Every ounce of me wanted to catch a fish. I only hoped that I would not disappoint Dave. Off we went. We hiked into our first spot. Quickly I understood what Dave was looking for, calm running water over the deep holes of the river. Unfortunately, we were not early enough. All the good spots were taken. The other anglers kept screaming and laughing “Fish on!” I was so close but yet so far. All right, that’s the name of the game. Let’s move on.
We left and drove to our next destination. After a bit of a hike, we walked up to where we wanted to fish and sitting on the edge of the river was a bald eagle. It was amazing! This, for sure, was a sign. In I went. There was a ton of ice and slush in the water. The look on Dave’s face read unsure. I wasn’t going to give up that easily. Dave coached me to help improve my cast. “Feel that little tug before you bring it back the other way.” Wow. That works better. Ok, now the role cast. That was difficult. Once I got the line off of the water and the split shot off the bottom… what do you know! It works! I was a bit abrupt while I mended the line but practice makes perfect. One other problem I had was I kept dipping the tip of the rod in the water causing the guides to ice over. As a gentlemen, Dave kept breaking the ice for me. Eventually, he did threaten to push me in the river if I did it again! Luckily, he didn’t stay true to his word.
After numerous snags, line tangles, hooking trees, hooking bushes and removing ice from the line, I kept setting the hook thinking the bottom of the river and ice were possibly giant shiny steel. I did a much improved roll cast not getting it quite as far as I wanted to but I went with it. Once again the bobber went down and I set my hook. The line did not feel normal. It was tight and started to get squirrelly. FISH ON! Man was I excited! It was a big brown trout. Ok, keep your composure. Deep breathe. Look him in the eye. It wasn’t an epic battle by any means. After a little game of reeling it in and letting it run…more like walk…the fish graciously let me win this time. A couple of photos, a thank you to this beautiful creature and off he went. Let us just say the trout was not the only thing that became hooked that day.
I think that every person should have something, call it a passion, a hobby, whatever, but something that brings them peace. I fortunately have my horse. I go to the stables, pretty much daily, sometimes to ride other times just to give my horse a carrot. But no matter what I do there, it keeps me sane. I loved spending the weekend with my husband in his serene world. He let me become acquainted with what keeps him going. I would be crazy to be jealous of that. Do I want to go fishing everyday? No. Do I want my own waders and wading boots? Heck yeah! My own rods? Maybe. Do I want Dave to give me a season pass to go fishing with him? No…but I will take a visitors pass.