“Can you remember the first time you cried?” She asked me. We were talking about many things as we drove across the front range, which lay hidden behind a blanket of clouds and snow. “Not really” I said.
My daughter had spent the last three days of her college spring break with me in Colorado. Visiting potential graduate school, hiking the foothills, shopping and eating, and trout fishing.
There is something special about a father getting to spend time alone with his daughter. It is as though all of time stands still and life pauses to give you this moment. This moment to watch, to listen. To hear her stories, her dreams, her views on life. To hear her giggle. To see her smile and be happy. To watch her face light up as she sees the snow on the Rockies, and to see her mind take in a world that is all anew.
March in the Rockies is still wintertime for the most part. Being such, this isn’t exactly trout fishing season. But we went anyway. One little tailwater stream was open enough to allow for a morning of fishing. For the first time ever I hired a guide. I wanted her experience to include trout and learning. With much gratitude, she received both.
She had not been fly fishing in a couple of years, but there are few things on earth as teachable as a young woman, and our guide did a wonderful job instructing her. Ole’ Dad did the smart thing and stayed quiet and out of the way.
Reflecting on the day, there was much to take in. Lessons on reading the stream, handling the fish, extending the arm, following the drift, setting the hook, playing the fish…. She listened to each one as her casts improved and she landed her own fish.
But as the stream flowed by and the morning slipped away, I could not overlook the obvious….my little girl had become a young lady, and these moments alone together will soon become rare.
But the memory of the trout stream has much to offer….of beauty and grace, of clarity and depth, of strength and potential, of love and compassion, of wilderness and wander.
The water that flowed past us is many miles downstream, but the trout remain there, along with the memory of time spent together on the water. No matter where life takes her, she may someday go back to wade the same stream, to cast for the descendants of these same fish. But in her mind, forever, she can close her eyes and hear the sound of water over rock, imagine the tug of a trout on the rod, and remember the smile brought by the fish to the net.
“Do you remember the first time you cried?” No. But I remember the last time….
…..for a wonderful fishing experience on Colorado’s front range, reach out to Kent Anderson (Anderson.firstname.lastname@example.org)