Fly Fishing

Today was a very special day.

My childhood pal, Bob who lives in Denver, belongs to a fishing club that leases fly fishing rights from private landholders.  Here’s the deal:  for an annual fee and a daily rod fee, members can fish restricted waters.  The great thing about it is that you have an entire stretch of water to yourself for that day.  Only fly fishing with barbless hooks is allowed and you must release anything you catch.  Bob arranged the trip about two weeks ago and we have been looking forward to it ever since.  Quivering with anticipation is more like it.

The big day finally arrived and after a quick breakfast, we headed in the general direction of Bob and Suzy’s cabin.  The sky was perfectly clear, the air was cool and the final stretch of road followed a sparkling mountain stream.  We finally arrived at the rendezvous point by an old farmhouse.  While waiting a few minutes for Bob and Suzy to arrive, we were entertained by the barnyard animals and the old windmill spinning in the morning breeze.

The general plan was for Jeanne and Suzy to visit while Bob and I fished.  After struggling into our waders and setting up the fly rods, we took off across the pasture.  The stream was loaded with rainbow and brown trout.

Fly fishing is all about finesse and it takes a few clumsy casts to get the hang of it.  Fortunately I had done this before and it quickly came back to me.  After a few minutes, I was the master of the fly.

Time passed slowly. . .

Suddenly I saw something strange in the rippling water.  It was moving against the current, slowly coming towards me.  It was furry and had eyes!  It was looking right at me!  Aha!  A beaver!  Something along the far bank got its attention.  Only a few feet away from my knees it paused, looked at me one last time and disappeared into the grass along the bank.  I went back to fishing.

Before breaking for lunch, Bob and I each caught a few fish.

Lunch was a very civilized affair complete with sandwiches, salad, cheese and an excellent Sterling Merlot.  As usual, there was more food than the four of us could possibly eat.  Still drowsy from the food and drink, we returned to the stream and found the fish had vanished.  We tried everything but the fish would have nothing to do with it.  So after slipping around in the stream for another three hours, we called it a day.

Our parents always said that when we grew up, we could have whatever we wanted for dinner.  Still full from lunch, our dinner consisted of pie, ice cream and cake at a local cafe.  Before the shadows got too long, we said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways.  It was truly a perfect day.

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Apart from the fishing trip, we stayed close to the coach and tried to keep a low profile during the Labor Day holiday.  The campground slowly filled up and by the weekend, the place was jammed with rigs, kids, dogs and cars.  After dark the place glowed with campfires.

In the run-up to the holiday, a really junky rig pulled in next to us.  In the middle of the night, two knuckleheads were banging around as they unloaded all kinds of crap from an overloaded trailer.  In the morning we saw a pile of stuff hidden behind their rig, covered with blue tarp.  Two howling dogs were locked in the trailer before they took off.  The situation was totally out of character for the park and Jeanne decided to involve the park management.  To keep the story short, when the guys returned two days later they were immediately evicted.  We were glad to see them go.

So as the holiday weekend winds down, we expect the campground to empty and our lives return to normal.  Although we will be hanging around for another two weeks, we’re already looking forward to moving on — wherever that might be.