Lasting Details

While catching fish typically is the main objective, often other stuff that happens while fishing truly makes a day on the water.

Ask my 10-year-old son Asher about Friday’s fishing trip to the Nantahala River, and I suspect he’d tell you first that we caught 27 fish—or maybe that we each managed a “slam” by catching at least one brown, brook and rainbow trout. In truth, the same details would be at or near the top of the list if I was recapping that day.

Ask us about the same day in a few years, and my guess is that the details first remembered would differ. We’ll still recall that we caught a lot of trout that day, but my guess is that the number 27 will have blurred.

For Asher, I’m guessing the most memorable thing will be looking down into the shallow water and spotting a hellbender salamander and calling me over to I could see it and even get a few photos. If you’ve never seen a hellbender, watch this little clip, and you’ll see why spotting one in the stream is apt to be memorable:

I’ll likely remember realizing on that day that Asher’s had become a real trooper. We left home at 4:00 a.m., waited riverside in the car for daylight, fished till it was turning dark again and got home about 10:30 p.m.—and he’d have gladly gotten up and done it again the next day.

I’ll also likely remember that Asher caught his first rainbow trout on our “first official day of spring” trip to the Nantahala River.

We’ll probably both remember our lunch break by the river, sitting on a big flat rock and eating sandwiches and the smoked salmon I’d been saving for just the right day.

Don’t get me wrong. When I go fishing, I want to catch fish. That said, the memory that stands out the most from a day usually is not the number of fish caught.

Check out my blog to keep up with fishing travels.


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