Wednesday, May 2, 2012

On Trout Fishing with Patty

We are camping beneath tall Hemlocks beside a sparkling stream.  I love this place. I caught my first trout here.  I caught it just inside the campsite while succulent young wife lay languorously abed in a Pawney Island Hammock. This was our first venture into “car camping” after years of backpacking and the Hammock was the first concession.  She “always” wanted to do the hammock thing; I just wanted to catch a trout.
She needn’t fish since herself had caught a trout (on corn) on a date when sixteen. She, I was tactfully reminded, was “one up” and had been through the birth and nurture of two, but things were about to change.
When the trout finally took the fly, my SHOUTING must have been drowned out by the stream noises. She was full of enthusiasm as usual, and a new avocation was born –- fishing along streams we had been busy walking along all these years. 
In anticipation of this, I had purchased a sweet little micro light spinning outfit. She played with that for an afternoon,  then appropriated my little fiberglass 6 1/2’ fly rod and has not relinquished it yet. She listened carefully to advice we got at the Little River Outfitters  and followed every bit of it, giving fishing the same focus she gives everything else.  She has, it must be admitted, been trouncing me in the fish catching area for several years now. Despite extra trips on my own, she is still WAY more than “one up” .
We generally fish alone, but nearby, connected with walkie talkies.  I’ve learned that if things go quiet, it is because she is fishing well and doesn’t want to discourage me.  I am still called upon to proffer bookish advice and wisdom, but she does most of the catching.  She doesn’t move around much, never loses her fly and seldom changes even the most non descript “unless I can’t see it anymore.”
On the Davison River last week, we both were into them the first night, but next morning in The Trophy area, she connected with a measured 13 1/2 incher that shut down the whole campground.  She has lost a couple here in the Smokies to bad knots.
“Well,” she explains without a hint of a smile, “I figure that after Soo many fish those things just loosen up.”

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