There isn’t much I can say about fishing late fall. I’ve never been good at it due to my hatred of fishing eggs and worms. It feels like cheating. I stay away from spawning browns and stick to my rainbows. While others reap the rewards by dredging eggs in hopes of a monster and it happens from time to time. I can’t discriminate, the difficulty of catching fish with insects this time of year is astounding and its easy to tie on an egg and “rip lips” or “stick pigs” with “tight lines”.
The night before was spent around a table eating chicken and drinking beer around warm conversation and a fire crackling in the background. One thing lead to another and the chicken became hand cranked popcorn and beer turned into eggnog. A simple life that now seems complex. The extra effort put forth from turning popcorn is now replaced by a microwave and a tv. I saw neither in this house and judging by the towering expanse of wood split by hand, there never will be. Things were mentioned about tying flies and Jay showed me some Banjo (the dog) dubbing contained in three, one-gallon bags. Without skipping a beat he mentioned that he likes to comb the dog. A lot was learned about the semi-new face that I would be fishing with the next day. I thought my life had taken me places until I began to hear the stories from Jay, instigated by Erin, who sat in her rocking chair gripping her mug of nog. We spoke of the past, reminiscing about things that sparked laughter at times and a tip of the hat to others. They had made me feel welcome and it nearly felt like I had slipped back in time. We had lived already, and we were about to live some more, the best way we knew how. By fishing.
The morning came and I sat at the table with Erin sharing a cup of coffee. I stared out the window at some feeding birds. I had no idea what they were and Erin educated me on them a bit. The drive into the canyon was quick, time was hurried by a sense of excitement. It was cold and windy. We gathered and clustered around rays of sun that peeked over the trees in the canyon to warm our feet from the nearly freezing river. It wasn’t long before Erin and Jay were into fish. The smiles that come with them are familiar, and the day began to brighten from the inside out. A day that the sun set too early. A day that will surely come to mind on more than one occasion. A day for old and new friends alike. I hope that a day like this will come again. As headlights twisted out of the canyon, I thought, “maybe I should have said yes to dinner.”