Monday, October 17, 2016

Black Belt

A Friday night camping trip brought Katie and three of our good friends to Western Maryland. We arrived around 12:30 in the morning after a long drive in the rain to find Deena and her husband John awaiting us at our reserved cabins. We quickly reconnected, unloaded our belongings, drank a cold one, and went to bed. Two favorite flowing rivers awaited us in the early light and I dreamt of a large, colorful, wild brown trout that I was going to catch the following two days.

The river was incredibly scenic in the morning with a heavy fog hovering over the river. I took advantage of the photographic opportunities and produced quite a few good ones for my measly standards. There were plenty of cool shots of Deena and Katie hanging out by the riverside, talking, fishing, and catching up. A few of John throwing laser beams, some gear shots, and a multitude of landscapes. The fish pictures were all decent too. The following morning, I accidentally deleted all of them. If you can forgive me, it occurred in the heat of a special moment.

Over the past year, I've been helping Katie less and less on the water. I offer a few helpful reminders and demonstrations when needed but I've found it works best if I let her concentrate and learn by trial and error before intervening with corrections. With it being her second time on this river I knew she was up for the task but didn't expect her to catch the fish of the trip. She was working a nice deep hole with a dry dropper rig when she hooked into a large brown trout that left all of us hooting and hollering. In my haste to document the action, my memory card ran out of space and I ended up deleting the entire card, rather than a few non-noteworthy pictures. Slightly irritated, I needed to kelp with the net job. With a truck sized boulder separating us, I heaved the net over top and Katie caught it in one hand before scooping in an amazing brown trout for this particular river. 

As Katie carefully cradled the brown in the water, she was all smiles. Looking back on that moment, I don't think about the deleted pictures or the fact that she caught a larger trout than I did, I see it as another notch in her evolution as a fly fisherman. 

One that I am very proud of. 

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