I've been going fishing since before I could walk, literally. I was taken on fishing trips as a baby, some sixty three years ago. Fishing has been a passion for all those years. I don't know how many millions of casts I've made, or how many tens of thousands of fish I've caught, but the numbers are way way up there. I've fished with more people than I could possibly count or remember. Family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers.
Most of the best memories I have involve fishing, and I couldn't begin to tell you how many great moments while fishing have turned into cherished memories. Six decades of memories. When I go fishing by myself, I'm never alone anymore. So many ghosts go with me, mostly family, but not all.
Fly fishing memories are mostly of people I've met out on the water, good people every single one of them. I've never met a fly fisherman that was a jerk, not one.
When I go fishing I can feel these ghosts perk up, grab a rod or pole, and join in. My mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncles and aunts, a brother, friends. They surround me when I catch a big one, cheer me on when the fishing is slow, laugh with me when I laugh at a fish's aerobatics, and moan with me when the line breaks and a good one gets off.
They remind me of techniques to try that are almost forgotten in the haze that is my mind, tell me to try a different approach or a different bait, or a different spot. They tell me this through memories of having watched them and listened to them. They whisper in my ear through ages long ago gone. These are ghosts I'm comfortable with, happy to have along, enjoy the company of.
They tell me stories while I'm fishing, stories of sitting on the bank eating sweet potato pie and drinking ice tea. Stories of hot summer days and cool shade, of seining for minnows, of old pickup trucks and straw hats.
Stories that flow like a river through my mind while I'm casting and retrieving. When I go fishing I take a small crowd with me, a smiling, happy crowd that are out enjoying the best that life has to offer, right there, right beside me.
I never go fishing alone, and wouldn't want to.
Edited by Lloyd5 (06/29/16 12:42 PM)