Thursday, June 5, 2014

Simple Pleasures

I am a fart in a tornado!  My spring season has been a jigsaw puzzle of teaching, coaching, family, and a move from the mountains to town.  The last item in that sentence is significant…we haven't lived in a town in nearly 18 years.  Matter of fact, at our mountain home we couldn't see any neighbors, only had mail delivery three days a week, and I hauled all 60,000 gallons of water we used in our house each year in a transport tank in the bed of my 3/4-ton pickup.  So, it's been a whirlwind around our place.

As we're still unpacking, I've yet to set up my fly tying bench, but I've actually located all of the tools and supplies that go into it. Just today I finished up putting together my reloading bench and all of the supplies and components that make it work.  I imagine that I won't get much tying done until I move over to my summer home in Ridgway and start work at RIGS Fly Shop and Guide Service for my third season.

As all of this change in our lives takes place, my refuge exists in those simple pleasures that have taken place in the past, and will continue to take place in the future.  It's in those times that I can always find peace amid the changes and know that those special spots I've taken our daughters to fish will always be there.

Small stream fishing, more than anything, has been the central theme for the time I've spent outdoors with our children.  It was that way for me as a child as well.  I remember well sneaking a couple of miles across the mountain to a private pond so I could steal my limit of stocker rainbow trout, retiring home so my mother could fry them up in a cast iron skillet.  That was 40 years ago…not much has changed.

Our oldest daughter, Rachel (age 6), on an early trip to Grape Creek,  2004.

Hannah, Rachel, and I on a secret stream that I fished as a boy, 2005.

Rachel and I on our inaugural backpacking trip.  Music Pass and Upper Sand Creek Lake, Sangre De Cristo Mountains, CO, 2008.

Our youngest daughter, Libby, in a nameless canyon full of brown trout.  Spring 2014.

Our little comedienne, laughing about all the badger holes along the creek, with my tenkara rod, ready to start fishing.  Spring 2014.

For the past fifteen years I've taken our girls to nearby remote semi-arid canyons and to the sub-alpine valleys of my youth.  The first trout they ever caught were in the same streams I fished as a youngster.  Coming full-circle with them is one of the most rewarding things I've experienced as a father.  It's my hope that someday they will bring their own children to these same streams and canyons to do the same.  Family, water, trout, simple pleasures.