Fly fishing rod

It was a good Christmas – The Durango Herald


Holidays and the younger generations offer hope for the future

Christmas always signals the end of another year in just one week. The past year has been reminiscent of the previous year. Covid and politicians are always with us. Fly fishing and the weather were good. The best part about fly fishing is that my Friday partner didn’t stop. I must say that this Christmas gave me hope for the future. Not just fly fishing, but things in general.

Christmas saw SWMBO (The One To Be Obeyed) and me in Texas with that state’s chapter of the Wild Bunch. It’s so much fun watching a 3 year old baby and child open presents. The child watched the paper hit the ground and then walked straight towards it to eat it before anyone could stop it. The 3-year-old was the best when he proclaimed after ripping paper from a package: “It’s a box! It took him several unwrapping before discovering that the boxes contained gifts. In a box he opened he found his first fly fishing vest, to use with Grumps. I received a photo of myself teaching this grandson how to throw a spinning rod last summer. Next summer, a fly rod could appear.

Grumps and SWMBO gave each other a puppy. Being empty nests can make you mess around. However, I’m sure the new puppy will help us go faster by saying, “No, no, no!

One of the most touching gifts I witnessed was a young teenager helping his 94 year old WWII veteran great-grandfather with fishing. It was Christmas Eve and I had walked to the pond in my grandchildren’s subdivision. I was of course using my fly rod, hoping to catch a bass or a perch. I wasn’t catching anything, but noticed two other fishermen on the other side of the pond were spinning fish. Needless to say, I went to visit them and see what they were using as bait. Their bait of choice was raw hot dogs. The bait was attached to a size 10 hook with a heavy weight. This is where the gift was given. The 94-year-old veteran struggled to throw the casting rod. So the young man would throw, then hand the cane to his great-grandfather and help him up, if necessary. They would bring the fish back, and the great-grandfather would touch the fish, as if he was counting the shot, then release it.

While I was visiting them, the great-grandfather noticed that he had caught his five fish and that his great-grandson only had three. The young man joked that he would work harder, but didn’t want to hurry so much that they ended up in the house where there was too much going on. What a joy to watch and talk to these two.

When I returned to our festive house, I remembered the story of another grandson finding a way to enjoy the day. He and SWMBO were at our pond dock and his line got tangled. So as SWMBO unraveled the line, he asked if he could just use a length of line containing the San Juan worm to fish from the dock? A young Tennessee Wild Buncher then began fishing for perch and bass by hand. And he started to catch fish. So much so that SWMBO had to help him remove the fish, after counting the shot. This was all happening while at the other pond, Grumps was wearing sophisticated fly fishing gear and not catching any fish.

These two stories reminded me that sometimes I’m too busy using fancy gear and going to fancy places. I’m going to be spending more time this year with someone, older or younger, putting a hot dog on a hook or dragging a hand rope along a dock. It’s going to be a very good year.