On more than one occasion, enough time has passed between outings that I have wondered if I was still capable of knowing what to do. When the days stack up that your river boots remain dry, you can feel foggy and out of sync with the rhythms that felt natural before.
A while back I got out to the silver state and linked up with some of my old fishing crew, just to see how much I had forgotten. The answer: a lot, but not enough to ruin my time on the water.
In the fishing community, I’m drawn towards those that both understand the allure but also recognize the silliness of fly fishing. Grown men and women spending large amounts of hard earned cash and valuable free time to fool and capture a creature with a brain the size of a nickel. Laboriously besting a creature far down the evolutionary branch from us. It’s laughable really.
It’s also a blast with good company.
I had a recent conversation with someone in line at a food truck about how people usually have a high opinion of the places they come from. Maybe you were born behind a dumpster, but man, you should see that dumpster when the sunset hits it just right.
Reno is a scrappy town, always changing, and in many ways still becoming who she will be. I’d like to think my fondness for my home water isn’t just a bad case of revisionist history, and maybe that’s why I record these things in the first place…a bit of accountability from muddying what I enjoyed about it all.
Over the course of these few days, I was fortunate to move some fish, and reconnect with what will always be a bit of a magical place to me. A place where I can recognize the silliness of the great lengths we go to find a fish worthy of our storytelling, but also enjoy that same hunt and the story that follows.
A few years back, a man I know commented on a picture I posted online:
“Pretty sure you just catch the same fish over and over again trying to impress everyone.”
He was kidding, but needless to say the comment didn’t endear me to him. We crossed paths in person a few weeks later, and he started in again.
“I don’t understand why you’d spend so much time and energy finding a fish when I can go to grocery store in 10 minutes and buy a salmon twice as big.”
I paused a moment. A dozen volleys came to mind and I sorted them until I found one that lacked a sharp edge. Then I responded,“You enjoy golf quite a bit, don’t you?”. He nodded. “You know, I saw that trophy shop downtown, and I’d bet you there’s a nice four foot tall golf trophy in there. I’d bet you could pop in and buy that for yourself, take it home, and have a good look at it.”
“Touché, Zimmerman.” he replied with a poorly hidden smile.
Here’s to all those that tell the story just as it happened, and can not take themselves or their hobbies too seriously.