The postman has nothing on the fly fisherman. photo credit: David Cannon
So, when I met Bill…I knew he was a fly fisherman. In fact, on our first date we went fly fishing (technically the second date but this time around he actually talked to me *see introvert references and Bill being a man of very few words).
|The early years…yes, I married this.|
I did not think too much of it at the time. I love fish. I fancy myself a mermaid of sorts (*see 8-year-old at heart reference). I enthusiastically professed to Bill that I was the “outdoorsy” type (I mean…I did own a pair of Vasque hiking boots) and I spent much of my youth fishing in our suburb pond that was so polluted with yard perfecting chemicals that I once tried to rescue all of the brim by placing them in buckets and brought them home to be my pets. We all know how that scarred me for life ended.
From the beginning, it was clear that Bill had “fish brain”.
Every book he read, gift he requested, trip he coveted and thought beyond a basic need was about fish. Yep. I knew who he was and he made zero effort to conceal what can I can clearly now describe as being possessed.
Don’t get me wrong…I have total respect for any passionate diversion from life. I grew up in a family that celebrated any interesting avocation…namely hobbies. Hobbies defined us in our household. We were pushed to explore all that was available to us and “full immersion” into any extra curricular activity was a highly regarded behavior.
I knew his kind.
Or did I? Most hobbies have an expiration of sorts. You either evolve, master it or simply age out. It appears as though that does not occur with the fly fishing thing. It’s the ever evolving sport in it’s own right, impossible to master and well…I know more than one person that actually died of old age while fishing (it’s true).
Let’s just be honest…the signs were clear from the beginning (*see first date we went fly fishing reference). And, did I mention that he “left” his fly rod in my car insuring another meeting? Oh, and he also left a copy of “A River Runs Through it” in my car (*see cliché reference…so be it).
There were other signs. Some subtle and then the not-so-subtle. For example…after being married only a few short months and our cat walked by me in the living room…shaved…shaved all of the way from his hind legs to his belly. Bald. When pushed, Bill finally admitted that he needed orange tying material. Poor Peanut. That was only the beginning…
Here’s my own personal collective of…
TOP 10 (okay 11) WAYS YOU KNOW YOU MARRIED
A “HARD CORE” FLY FISHERMAN
#1 Your child learns to tie a fly before his shoes.
#2 Waders have become acceptable décor (huge sigh here…).
#3 When four hours of a vacation day (any random vacation day) is hijacked by riding around some random town looking for a random brim popper or whatever other random fly pattern may catch some random fish in some random golf course pond.
#4 His favorite activity at Disney is feeding the giant carp in the ponds outside of Epcot.
#5 He cannot find his underwear in the morning yet mysteriously is able to navigate miles and miles of a primitive back country trail leading to a small stream…full of trout. Or, how about this…he cannot find ANYTHING pertaining to everyday life but can find a tarpon/redfish/snook in the middle of the ocean!?!?!? Am I right?
#6 When his insistence to share the love of fly fishing and the desire for you to catch trout with him is so intense that he straps you to his back with a belt and trudges in rushing chest deep water across the Frying Pan River to get to a honey hole full of Rainbows. (editor’s note: I did indeed catch a lot of fish that day until the bear thing).
#7 When you receive a text like this:
#8 When your 5-year-old little girl can double haul.
#9 When you bring up the idea of buying a boat for the lake and he convinces you that a 17 foot flats boat is indeed family friendly. So, when we go to the lake for “family day” we cram 4 adults, 2 children, one huge cooler and 2 paddle boards on this formidable vessel. No really…it seems almost normal until I write this…
#10 When the hatch is on…Bill is gone. Gone gone. Like so gone…
#11 Ummmm…when you live in the mountains in rural North Georgia to be close to fish and make bamboo fly rods for a living.
I would be remiss not to mention that because of Bill’s said “excessive enthusiasm”, I am fortunate enough to travel to the most exquisite destinations on earth (except that one), meet some of the most fascinating people on earth (except that one), learn the most thoughtful sport on earth and live an unimaginable life…
…a life that I could have never even dreamt of on that first date sitting on a rock in the woods, starring at the my Vasque hiking boots being lulled into love while listening to Bill discuss the merits of a woolly booger pattern.