Saturday, June 13, 2009

Then & Now.

A little over three years ago, I decided that I wasn't going to sit around all summer and only fish local waters. I needed to get away and experience something for a change. At the time, I was camped out in my apartment during Winter Session at the University of Delaware. Basically, two months of no school, but I still had swim practice and I could not leave. My days consisted of morning practice, sleep, afternoon practice, tying some flies, sleeping, then repeating the whole process again (other assorted college activities abounded in between). During one of those tying sessions, I had the Trout Bum Diaries playing in the background. Mikey Wier was off by himself on a little adventure chasing some sea run browns all while filming himself with a fixed camera. I began thinking about doing the same and gave Adam a call. We decided at that point, that we would embark on a road trip the day of my last final exam and travel across PA fishing the best streams our home state had to offer.

After a year of college we barely had any money and we had no experience or knowledge of anything outside of the Lehigh Valley. For funds, we used the little money we had and spend it on gas for our sweet sweet ride (Mom's 10 yr old Mini-Van) and bread, peanut butter, and jelly. For knowledge my parents bought me Barry and Cathy Becks Blue Ribbon Trout Streams of Pennsylvania (saved our lives) and for navigation Adam commandeered his Aunt's GPS. We threw this and our fly fishing gear in the back and just left. We barely planned out an itinerary, all we knew is that we were going to Potter County because we had heard some good things. What followed was two weeks of fishing and adventure that lit a flame in our hearts. Since then, fly fishing became something different for us. We had tasted the dream that every fly fisherman has. The dream of fly fishing for a living. Escaping into the wild where its just you and the fish. Every worry, thought, or problem from the outside world is left behind and you truly begin to live.

Every year since then we have looked to rediscover that dream by going on small adventures across the Mid-Atlantic region. There have been steelhead road trips, extended ones across PA, the Outer Banks, even one while visiting Colorado. Currently we are in Baltimore at base camp in my brother's apartment about to embark across Maryland, Virginia, and back up into PA for our third annual end of the school year trip. We will be hitting up the Gunpowder, Savage, North Branch of the Potomac, Shenandoah National Park, and the familiar haunts in PA. It will be another grand time on the road, on the stream, and in the campsite.

As I reflect on these trips and the one we are currently on, it all brings me back to the original:

A Taste of the Dream.

The first video I ever made. It was filmed with the original Pentax underwater digital camera and had assorted scenes filmed with an ancient camcorder that couldn't even be hooked up to transfer footage to my computer. I improvised by using the Pentax to film the footage playing on my TV in my living room. Hence, how disgusting some scenes look. The music was created by Mozart himself (me) using files from Garage Band. Looking back on this, I just laugh. Not at just how bad the video and music is but about the trip itself and all the things we experienced during those days.

Highlights include:

-Breaking Down in front of the Cross Forks Bar the first night of the trip.
-Spending the night (not 21) in the bar parking lot watching ridiculously drunk people stumble out
-Being towed the next morning a distance away and then fishing back after repairs
-Adam's concoction of noodles & SPAM
-Fishing from dusk to dawn everyday on nothing more than pp&j
-Calling 911 to report a sexual assault @ the Yellow Breeches
-Meeting Up with my bro and friends and eating @ Montezumas Revenge (BYOB, bring your own beer, Para Dos)
- Catching some of my first big fish

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