For the past couple of years I had waited for this day. I bought equipment…twice. I took the classes. I watched the videos. I hung artwork up in my office and in my home. I talked about it ad nauseam with friends and clients. But until this morning at 6:30 am, I had never taken a step into a stream in search of a trout. It was my first and last step. If you check Craigslist right now you will see my entire gambit of trout fishing finery for sale.
It was a romantic notion of gargantuan proportions that died a slow death on the 1/2 mile walk slip-sliding here and entangling my rod there on the way to the Oatka with the group from the ORVIS 301 trout fishing class.
As it turns out, there is absolutely nothing I enjoyed about my 2 hours on the water. My back and knee hurt from standing, the moving water made me dizzy…my arthritic fingers fumbled around trying to tie a fly on… and within the first 45 minutes I had entwined my line with the dude’s right next to me so ferociously that I had to cut the fly off and start all over again … burning what was left of my leader and having to engage my fumble fingers again.
Note: When I purchased the one leader I own…the dude at Orvis said it should last me the season. It lasted just over 45 minutes and then I had none. You could almost hear the one trout in the Oatka mocking me.
When I had enough of the humiliation and failure, I decided it was time to vamoose the creek and save what was left of my dignity …but I had no idea where we were or which muddy path to take to get back to the car. A stranger took pity on me and walked a few hundred yards with me, then pointed and said “go that-a-way”
Once back at the car the real fun began as I tried to take my waders off. Let me first tell you that after two hip replacements and a ruptured patellar tendon, I am not very bendy…in fact all my hinges are pretty rusty. Add to that the fact that I hadn’t worn any socks in my neoprene wading booties and had been sweating in them for the past 2 hours. So there I stood. My waders in a pile beneath my knees, booties sweat-glued to my feet. It took me nearly 25 minutes and some of my darkest vocabulary, before I finally pried those beasts off. Even the mosquitoes left me alone in my embarrassing predicament.
The first thing I did when I got home was pull everything out of the trunk… lined it up real pretty-like on the lawn, shot some pics and posted it for sale on Craigslist.
As the frustrated French chef once said… “I qweet!”
God had given me the desire of my heart…I thought…and now I am giving it back!