Re: A Book And Its Cover... Reconsidered...
When it comes to our children and their "growing up," most fly-fishing fathers like me tend to worry about our kids, no matter their age, their experience or how well we've raised them, and especially when their activities include hours spent astream without the "wisdom" of Dear Old Dad. It's only natural, particularly when it comes to daughters.
Late yesterday afternoon, that nagging voice in the back of my head caused me to drive 25 minutes north and find a comfortable perch on a hilltop next to the stretch of river on which I knew that I'd eventually find our daughter, Jesse, and her "guided group" of a father and his two sons. After a half hour of watching her help them work the water better and seeing the whole thing unfold, I knew that any fears on my part were unfounded, at best.
How did I know that Jesse would choose this particular section of river to fish? Three reasons, really. First, it's easy to wade and blessed with ample trout cover. Secondly, it's an area that always carries an absolute horde of brook trout best described as "unschooled," in that the small brookies will take any fly, no matter how it's presented.
Last, but certainly not least, it's the same place in which Jesse and "Dear Old Dad" each took their first trout, only some 30+ years between the occasions. The stretch of river in question long has been an outstanding place to introduce someone to fly-fishing, as it's a prime example of "success breeding success," and a family favorite.
With my fatherly "nagging voice" satisfied and hoping to avoid detection, I slipped away from the riverside seat in order to avoid detection and made the long walk back to the "Fish Truck." On the drive home, I found myself growing prouder by the mile, replaying the short session I'd witnessed in my head and knowing that our daughter was, indeed, coming into her own as a fly-wrangler.
Jesse arrived home just after dark, tired in the best of ways and obviously pleased with her day of hope and reckoning. When asked about the afternoon's trip, she simply responded with a smile and one small observation-- "I think they're going to be OK..." Waders hung to dry next to her "whatevers" shoulder bag, she bypassed the tying desk and her journal for the comforts of a soft bed, just before throwing out one final question for "Dear Old Dad..."
"So, how was the drive home??"
Busted or not, I wouldn't trade the sights and sounds of watching our daughter help to write a whole new chapter to a book that I'd once thought to be a "lost cause..."