I have a fantasy. It involves me standing beside a mountain stream with a fishing rod in my hand and a huge grin on my face. It doesn’t have to be an epic big river like the Taylor or the Gunnison, just a little gem like the Cochetopa or the Cimarron. The grin has less to do with the water, or even the fish. It derives from the fact my fantasy partner is an inquisitive little girl, a child that has captured my heart from the start with her intense eyes that harbor volumes of intelligence and compassion. That’s part of the hurdle to this dream of mine. I have to convince her that pulling a trout out of its watery home for us to take a look and have a quick conversation is a worthy pursuit. She is apt to empathize with the fish.
We used to fish at bath time with a plastic fishing set. She’d swim with the purple, green and yellow fish with magnets for lips and I’d have the pole. It was great and soggy fun–the fish tended to splash A LOT when they returned to water. She was maybe two at that phase and it meant little to her real world. Now I think we would have countless questions as this almost five year old realizes she eats fish and Sissa catches them.
If I can get her past the conceptual hurdle of why we might justify a hook in a trout’s mouth (and this may take a couple of years) then my day dream fishing excursion becomes easier. A small Tenkara rod for her and a net for me. She has patience, and I have flies. We’ll find a fish in a nice pool to study, maybe even name, and then we will send “little spotty” back to the river. It’s a pure, sweet, and simple vision. Two girls enjoying a little fishing time together, until little sister stomps into our quiet pool and scares our fish. Maybe if we start training her now with the magnet fish we’ll have more peace.
People I love taught me to fish, and there’s a duty to pass it forward. I dream of the opportunity and the smiles ahead with the girls.