A few weeks ago I was digging around in my desk in search of a memory card or pen or something relatively unimportant. I came across a newspaper clipping of an obituary from a few years back. It was for my father's best friend, Jack.
Jack was a carpenter and fisherman. He was a worm dunker, but I try not to hold that against him, and primarily had no interest in mountain fishing, but was much more fond of salt water. Every year Jack would migrate down to Florida for the winter and spend his time in a boat or kayak with a rod in his hand. I remember when we found out that Jack was sick. He decided that it wasn't time to waste his life in a hospital, but to spend it with the people he loved, fishing. And, that's exactly what he did.
Last summer Jacob and I went on an adventure with a good friend of ours, Seth. We hiked down a trail, into a canyon, and finally crawled out onto the ledge of a waterfall. As a glanced out and around the laurels, all I could see upstream was a steady line of more waterfalls. We spent the beginning of the day climbing up rock faces and fishing pools that were empty of trout. As the day progressed we got caught in pines, marveled at views, explained to random hikers that "no, we would not be taking anything home to grill," and spent a good thirty minutes watching a colored up brook trout none of us could catch. Between all of that, I laughed so much I'm sure I almost peed my pants a few times.
In today's world of instant gratification, more information at your fingertips than you can stand, and photos of fish from all around the world, we've evolved into an almost shameful society as anglers. We spend so much time thinking about the perfect rod, how to improve your cast, best fly line on the market, etc... I think we've really forgotten the reason behind going fishing.
Jack never forgot the reason. With spring here and more adventures on the horizon, I hope to remember the reason, to appreciate every fish, and never take for granted all I get to share those memories with.