Rear View Mirror
So why is it that fishing trips go by so fast?
First off let me be clear here... I’m not a lolly gagger, a side-tracker and/or the last guy fumbling around gathering up my gear to hit the water... or, my favorite, the guy who has to do an errand unannounced while on the way to the river. This usually blows an hour or two and for the rest of the drive out, all you hear is a repetitive excuse. But this also may paint me as a hard ass, which I’m not. I just like to fish.
Anyone who ever has fished with me knows that even when I’m exhausted from the day's fishing, the last thing I do before finally going to bed is I check over my gear and get it ready for the next day. This puts my mind at ease and helps me sleep... even if i have to go get back into the truck and grab a fly box or a spool of tippet that I put under the seat to prep for the next day's excursion. Im usually the first one up and ready to head out. I like to fish from sun up to sun down. I just desire to squeeze every drop of sunlight and, if I can, every waking moment stalking and setting up for the next cast.
You’d think this behavior would make for lengthy days on the water but just the opposite, they fly by. Also, funny enough, I find myself a little bummed in the autumn and feeling the shorter days. I just want that “one more cast” to last, to satisfy and to put my mind to rest, but it never does.
Stack one day like this on top of the next and the next and then boom, we're saying our goodbyes and driving our separate ways back to the other reality. All the while, I’m in shock at how fast a week's worth of backcountry fishing flew by.
All the foot miles, all the trees, chipmunks, birds and sometimes even range cattle just seem to be a blur. I notice this more in tighter canyons than open meadows, obviously less light, but man oh man, give me an open meadow from sun up to sun down and my fly boxes will be trashed, I'll be out of water and granola bars and my feet will hurt. But it feels great to go back to camp or the cabin totally whipped.
I guess what I’m getting at here is that there may be a slight chance that I think about fishing quite often. It may even occupy my mind more than the actual act. Let’s face it, life changes as we go through it. Free time comes and goes and that adulting word “responsibility” is a reality, not good or bad, it just is. Kind of an ebb and flow, a satellite-ing of long and short term stuff. I use the word “stuff” here because I could rattle on about every little detail in my daily life that is totally significant and insignificant and most possibly totally boring to you the reader. So you’re spared.
Breaking it down, I don’t bring my vice and supplies with me so I tie at home usually before and after a trip and, most often, periodically throughout the week. So when the bowls get full enough, I start putting them into the boxes, which first have to be cleaned out from the last excursion and then filled back up with the new. This also leads me to reorganizing what’s in each box except the obvious dedicated large streamer box and the San Juan micro midge box. [Side note here, I once had specific boxes with specific flys for each. All was well until one day, I was river hopping in the truck from one turn out to the next and trying to pack lite, when I got to a spot and dug in my sling pack for just the right fly... only to realize the box was on the floor of the damn truck a 1/2 mile and a steep rocky hike up. I think I even yelled “damnit” quite loudly while looking for a fly that might work. Funny enough I did catch in that spot but probably because I pissed off the fish as opposed to matching what they may be eating.] So now each box has a little of everything....lesson learned.
While on the topic of flys, why are the new flys always the favorites? One thought could be that I tried something new and improved. Or the flavor of the week syndrome. I vote for the latter.
Gear usually gets cleaned up and put up right away and never sees the light of day 'til it’s time to load up again. As I write this, I know damn well that I have a pair of Simms Flyweights (my favorite boots) sitting on top of my cooler on the deck. I am reminded because my 2-year-old son was beating them with a stick last night. Okay, so the boots don’t get put up right away... my excuse being that they are still thoroughly drying after being home for a week.
So, the actual fishing may fly by while in the act, but the preparation fills the time between. So if that’s the case, I’m on a constant “fishing trip” so to speak. Haha.