Rules to Fish By

We are just three weeks shy of twenty years of wedded bliss. It’s a good life we have. We have very few ground rules beyond love each other, chase adventure together, and be kind always. Sure we have gravitated towards assigned tasks–I’m better with laundry and he’s super awesome with coffee. But we have a very peaceful co-existence.

I do not care if the toilet seat is left up or down. I think we are each endowed with enough intelligence to look before we sit. I also have no preference for the direction the toilet paper is loaded. I can unroll it either way just fine. For most things I just roll with the situation I’ve been handed.

Then we started Tenkara fishing. Again, we divided tasks and expertise acquisition. I’m on fly detail. I study them and read about them. I tie them. I select them when the fish are being picky. It’s my sphere. He’s the rod and line specialist. He has mastered the one-knot and level-line. He’s also much better at cleaning fish but that’s a different story. We are fine fishing apart but we are always better together.

But our recent leisurely days of fishing the Sierra lakes and rivers revealed a serious problem. Our backcountry fishing kits are a work in progress. We inevitably end up dumping a set of communal stuff into one ditty bag, throw our rods in our packs, and hit the trail. Lakeside we reach in and grab whatever lines made it along. When I pulled out my holder on one of these High Sierra forays I was flabbergasted to see my line wound completely backwards. I apparently do care about the direction some things flow from a spool. Thus we discovered one of us may be a bit ambivalent about how he winds his line and, well, I seem to have an obsession. I threw a minor hissy fit, then went to the Tuolumne River and fished off the silliness.

A new marital ground rule thus emerges like a rainbow trout at a cahill hatch – if you use my line, please wind it so the loop ends up on top. I think we can handle this little addition into the mix and maintain our bliss quotient, especially if we always just get to the water and fish off the silliness.


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