There were about eight hours last week when I was in fishing limbo and I did not like it. Not having a current fishing license in Colorado felt a bit like staring at the ski pass on my coat the morning after closing day. The situation of lawful fishing is easier to rectify than scratching the itch to cruise groomers. I walked into the local CPW office, with stares of older men and taxidermy specimens drifting my direction, and I joyfully purchased another year of wishing for fish on my line. Although both individuals behind the counter selling licenses were of the blonde female persuasion, I had a distinct feeling that the men in line around me thought I was the wrong type. Newsflash: it’s 2016 and wives do more than fry the fish and make the potato salad.
I started to forget about the curmudgeons as I snapped the belt on my waders and walked toward the water an hour later. My opening day was spent on the Uncompahgre River with red willow branches lit like fire on the shore as the smell of valley farmers burning ditches wafted over. I stood in shallow, clear water spilling over rock bars that will soon disappear beneath snowmelt torrents. It was a glorious early spring day in the San Juan Mountains. Now it is clearly time to leave ski boots at home but always take the fly rods in the truck.
A new season starts and I’m thinking of lots of rivers and lakes for us to visit, some remote and some at the road. It is actually true that I’m the principle fish griller and I do make a mean potato salad, but we have an equal opportunity marriage and both of us get the distinct pleasure of trying to catch dinner. Or we do what we did on opening day—stop at the grocery store for some local beef. Those little rainbows need to keep swimming.
So happy 2016 fishing season boys AND girls!