I had the pleasure of sharing the river with a few anglers yesterday. It has been a while since I had fished with other people and the company was most welcome. I miss having new faces in the boat and learning about other people’s experiences, life, and how fly fishing works its way in there.
I got to float along with an old mentor of sorts, he was the first person to ever take me on the river in a drift boat. He may not know it but I was so incredibly intimidated by him and his brand new Clacka back then. He and his daughter were gracious enough to let me ride along and help clean up trash from the Yak. I remember a particular stretch where the current was fast and we had to wade on either side of his daughter. I remember being inspired to share the river with my own daughter who was only a wee one at the time. I will remember that float forever, it made me realize that I wanted to row a boat for trout more than ever. Thanks dude.
Floating the river yesterday was a much needed respite from the world. The river was gorgeous even if she was unwilling to relinquish any of her trout to us. Even with the lack of fish the ability to row for once was intoxicating enough. I love to row. I love to slow the boat down and watch the river from just above it, waiting for a trout to flash in the current or rise to the surface. Rowing the river is almost as enjoyable to me as fly fishing. Almost. My body is slightly sore after being on the sticks, and my prior day of wading a few miles but its a sore I relish. I wish I was able to feel my muscles strained from fishing every day.
The other part of fishing with others is even when the fishing is bad the socialization can be the saving grace of the day. Laughing at fishing stories, swapping tales and lies, the hilarity of what is said between a group of anglers riverside can be a cure all. I look forward to more days riverside with anglers as the season approaches.
After fishing I jumped out of my comfort zone and socialized off river. I am not much of a people person but can wear the hat and be involved. A good strong dark beer helps as well. I attended the Trout Unlimited meeting and got to see a lot of familiar faces and meet a lot of new ones. I loved talking with the old timers. The older generation may not fish as much but they have fished a lot. They are always willing to relay stories and information and learn about how things have changed and what has stayed the same. I mentored under an old timer, or THE old timer, for the Yak and I always find gems of information when conversing with the elder anglers. That makes them sound all mystical and shit…The Elder Anglers, I like that.
I also was very interested in the science behind some of the new projects developing on the river from other organizations and look forward to learning more about them as the year moves forward.
Trout Unlimited is a great organization and I am looking forward to being a part of thier mission here in the Headwaters of the Yakima River. I have kids and I want them to be able to fish these rivers and have better days than I ever did. I want my grandkids to be able to fish this river. While I focus mainly on the fishing I understand that this water is connected to everything and it is my duty as an angler here to make sure that the trout are not forgotten about. The trout tell you everything you need to know about the river. If I can help this river and all that in entails through TU then its kind of a no brainer. I am not just a young trout bum who wants to fish. I have invested almost 10 years of my life into this river and I want to give back what I can in return for what is has given me and continues to give.
I look forward to this new Chapter. I will be leaving for Idaho on Saturday for a week. I am hoping to get some fishing in while I am there. Maybe a brown trout, but there will be blogs from the road. It’s time to tie some flies and pack a few things.