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The Ritual

I’d say Tim and I are fortunate in the fact when we go fishing it’s an entirely self-serving endeavor. We both work our nine to five and when the Friday whistle sounds, it’s not long before we’re hitting the road and chasin’ again. Trout water is an hour drive, and better trout water is half that further. Nine times of ten we opt for the longer drive. Beers are cracked once rubber meets dirt, the sun sets, and sounds of flowing water come within earshot. We set camp and realize we’ve made it, made it back.


Most mornings begin somewhat blurry with a side of hangover. “Hair of the dog,” Tim explains as he tosses me a beer after “breakfast,” and on the water it begins. The inevitable ribbing of who is going to catch the biggest fish or who ties flies that don’t work. The first cast that snags a bush or tree branch inevitably gets the response “there’s no fish in there” or the ol’ “damnit, you horsed it again” after coming unbuttoned or missing a hook set. You know, “catching up” like only fishing buddies do.

Once the dust is shaken and that first knot breaks, it’s not long before the casts begin to straighten out, hooks begin to hold and the fish start settling in the net. The mood lightens as do our flasks. Through some unspoken agreement the lead is passed so we each get our fair shot at good water.  We catch enough fish that there’s no need to count and we call it a successful day. Headed back we deliberate missed fish, highlights of the day and begin to make plans for the following week. It never gets old or stale, I love the ritual.