memory lane – the one that got away, kinda

12 Aug

Again, I’m not giving away the exact location or names to protect family.  Some details  may be changed because Damn happened ages ago and I’ve done a lot since then, but hey I thought it was a cute story.  Image isn’t mine, I snagged it from stock footage…

mountain stream, image not mine

The stream was cold, flies buzzing over it here and there, occasionally a fish would jump up and bite.  Dad’s standing hip deep in the river, his fly pole flicking back and forth; ten o’clock, two o’clock and back again, the hand tied fly tapping the water, before being dragged back into the air by the nearly invisible line that tied it to the bright green line on the fly rod.

I’m knee deep, in a pair of Keds and long cut-offs rolled up to keep the rough hem from annoying me.  My spin cast pole has a size 0 hook on it.  The sun’s beating down and the shade along the slow branch of the river we’re on is still enough to turn my skin pink.  Personally I don’t care, I’m a kid, and well really I hadn’t seen Dad put on sun lotion so I figure I’m as tough as he is and refuse it too.

Dad curses, the Arctic Char we’re both going for spits out his fly again so he goes to the bank to swap flies while I try again to see if I can catch it with my reel.

Both of us are so focused on this fish we don’t see my little brother sitting on a log that crosses the river, his reel he has a bobber and his bait, those bright orange salmon eggs.

My lure’s spit out and there’s a splash and yelp as my brother gets a tug on his line that surprises him enough that he drops into the river.  He’s been fishing before, this was the first time Dad’s taken me since I was two months old, I would have lost the pole if I had slid from my perch like that.

“Dad! Help!”  he shouts as he reels it in a little, letting the fish get closer only to let out a foot of line like we had been taught.  I’m already wading back to the shore to help him as he walks towards us.

Dad’s muttering curses under his breath, though encouraging my brother as he’s working on landing the fish.  “Get the net.”

I realize he’s talking to me so I toss my rod down after hooking the lure to the rod, scooping up the net we have lying near my tackle box.

By the time I catch up with him and my little brother they’ve already managed to get it close to the shore line.  I hand dad the net since I don’t know what he wants me to do with it.  He doesn’t take it, instead he lifts the fish by hand, kneeling with both of us so he can show us the fish.  It’s about a foot long, dark grey in color and still fighting him as he takes the hook out of it’s mouth.

We put the lead back into the water so the fish will stay alive until it’s time to clean them.  Dad wants to catch a good number, since we always try to bring some back home for the freezer.

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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Memory Lane, writing challenge


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