Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Last Week I Dreamt ...

That I caught a fish. This was no ordinary fish, I could tell by the first hit that it was different. I set the hook, and like dropping a coin into a slot, the ride began. I was pulled this way, and that as the fish changed directions trying to make me give in. Little did it know, this battle of will would not be won so easily, but I knew I was in over my head. I dug my heels into those muddy Wishkah banks, and took turns pulling, and reeling watching what I knew would rival Jaws in size, thrashing around in the fast current until I found myself on my back giving it one last pull with all the effort I had left, and at the very same moment the fish jumped. It landed in my hand ... it was a goldfish.

I have to hand it to her, she was a fabulous little fish with fancy long fins, and she was wearing lipstick. I remember unhooking her by clipping the barb off my hook because I couldn't bear to pull it back through, and I let her go. With a wink she jumped out of my hand, and back into the water.

I don't know what any of this means.

What I DO know is that two of these guys are mine

What I also know is at that moment I couldn't have been any wetter had I been standing in a shower during the picture, the other thing I know is that I couldn't feel anything below my knees having lost my footing on the way to the "spot" in the first 20 minutes or so of the adventure. As I heard the words called back to me "Yesterday this was all a bar, and dry as a bone, guess it rained a lot last night..." *slosh, slosh, slosh he leads on in waders* No dear, monsoon was more like it! But you know what I fall for every time? "Let's see if you can make it," I don't take it as a personal challenge, I really do think I can just tiptoe on through and, well "make it." By the way, I usually don't. You'd think I'd wise up by now. But that's how it goes when Soldier Boy, and Grizzly Adams are in rubber up to their chests, you either keep up, or keep home.

I couldn't have asked for a better morning though, after our respective cups of coffee and tea my brother and I scrambled through the house to get ready for the morning bite like kids tearing off for the booty under a Christmas tree, exchanging cheap jabs about who exactly is holding up the party (we all know who was ready first, whilst not sacrificing style, I might add ... fishing is no excuse to be frumpy). It was a beautiful, cool morning, with the sun just beginning to burn off the mist hanging in the valleys. Everything about it was mild, and lovely except for the saturated colors of the landscape. It was just right.
We dropped Brad off at the head of the path that would take him north of us, and let him fish down to us, and we headed off across the field talking about things dads and daughters talk about, giving the cows a good morning call with Dad's lab in tow until we finally made it to our destination. In no time Dad had my hook baited (because no matter how old you get dads think you still need them to bait the hook, hey I'm not complaining, it's not exactly my favorite thing to do!) as well as his own, and pulled two fish out before I'd even finished my "practice casts". He decided it was a good time to move down, and it was a good thing too, I'd only had nibbles, no one was really all that interested in me, well my hook at least, I tried to not take it personally.
The next stretch of river was the ticket! But against popular belief I knew my fish was waiting for me under the Alder root ball sticking out of the bank on the other side of the river and under the "green part" which got a laugh out of everyone who heard it all morning long ... everything's green in Western Washington in September, but it made sense when you saw the V of green ferns growing down the bank, and THAT'S where I was going to get my fish. Not in the fast water like I was instructed.
Later as he recounted, "I had my back to the water baiting my hook, and heard 'tee-hee hee' giggling and turn to see a fish dancing on the end of her line!"
I had to remind him this wasn't my first rodeo as I buffed my fingernails on my shoulder ... which opened me up to "judging by those practice casts..." and that look he gives when he tips his head down and peeks at you over the top of his glasses telling you that you're full of it, and he knows it. At least fish number two backed up my claim! In all honesty we don't spend all of our time busting on one another. We shared a lot of old memories of fishing trips, stories of more recent encounters with "the big one" and cheered for everyone's catches until the rain came in, and stayed a little too long for my taste.
It was time for a hot shower, lunch, and some fish-tales ... no trip is complete without some creative embellishing! The walk across the field is more than enough time for a story to make the leap from catching a 10 inch trout, to having hooked Nessie herself and ridden her up and down the river like a bucking bronco, but I tried to keep the exaggeration to a minimum, and stick to the truth.
Two other things I know:
I'm still a Daddy's girl ... (isn't he handsome?)

... and a Mama's girl too, I'm crazy about my parents, I can't help it, and I don't want to. I think they're fabulous, and I'm a very lucky girl. I love them both, and like them as people. Imagine that, parents are real people too! I'm thrilled with the relationships I have with them, right now to me it's perfection, and I wouldn't trade it or jeopardize it for anything.

The other thing I know?
I like my trout, and camouflage with a side of
Ham. ;-p

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

P.S. My two year old niece came outside just as we were taking these pictures, and she most certainly did NOT enjoy Aunt Stormy's stick of death.