Dear readers, I have been away for a while on a family trip out West. It was as beautiful and amazing as it is advertised. This post concerns lessons learned from long ago, and rules I still employ…even with this most recent trip West. I hope you enjoy it!
While still in the early stages of fly fishing, there were still lessons to be learned. Unbeknownst to me, the next lesson came when my dear, sweet, lovely wife suggested a family trip to a cabin on the Gallatin River in Montana, not far from Yellowstone National Park. Anna had delivered our first child the year before, and had a desire to get to the mountains, and thought this would be fun. Anna also said that her folks were going to be in the area, and might hang out for a few days, and perhaps get some fishing in if we took our equipment. It sounded good to me, so off we went.
There are some things in this life that you can anticipate, and there are other things you cannot. I knew I was going to have a good time in Yellowstone National Park, because Anna and I had been there before, and it WAS amazing. However, fishing a blue-ribbon trout stream that still had blue ribbon trout that you didn’t require the fisherman to have a divining rod, witch doctor, and a clairvoyant to locate was not anticipated at all.
I cannot say with any absolute certainty when it happened. I know that both Jim and I had some luck catching fish, by casting into the river just outside the cabin, but it wasn’t until Jim suggested we go explore the river down stream that it got more interesting. We pulled off to fish a section of the river that was pinched in tight on both sides by canyon walls that occasionally sprinkled boulders the size of tractors into the river, and made for very pretty scenery. And it was near one of those tractor boulders that I began casting. Within the first five cast I hooked, and eventually landed the prettiest 13-inch Rainbow Trout, that had the general shape of a football. Within five more casts, I had another of equal size, shape, and beauty as did Jim, and this continued until we couldn’t see the river anymore, because darkness had set in; telling us to go to the cabin, and get some rest.
On our way back to the cabin, we were both determined to have another go at those trout; and had even planned on, “getting up early”, so as to accomplish the two major task set before us. 1) Catch big Fish. 2) Accompany our lovely wives, and children to the grandeur that is Yellowstone National Park.
We did get up early the next morning, and we did catch big fish, which only worsened the ailment that Jim and I began to suffer; which was commonly referred to as: “fish-more”; as in, we wanted to fish more. We did visit all the grand scenery of YNP; though in doing so, some could argue that the hushed voices, whispers, and shady rapid-eye movements Jim and I exchanged closely mimicked those of prisoners who were planning their escape.
In the end, the whole family was satisfied with the turn out of the trip. Yellowstone National Park was still awesome, and so was the fishing. And a valuable lesson was learned; there are family trips, and there are fishing trips- when planning one of these, leave the other at home.