Photo by: Roger Abraham
If any of you out there are regular readers of my tales, you have followed my recent struggles with back and knees. I canít put a name to this drive I have to be on the stream as of late. It borders on obsession. I guess in my mind if I am healthy enough to fish the world is right with me and I am not getting old and feeble.
Today I was a witness to that I am not the only one. Lots of anglers and hunters live to go out into the outdoors. . It is what drives them. It makes them feel alive. It is their passion. I told my fishing buddy Abe today my thoughts. I told him how I was feeling a little old. I guess my 60th birthday coming up next month makes me feel mortal. Abe laughed and said I was a young buck compared to him. Abe turns 76 this year.
Abe told me tales about catching big trout in tiny streams in Wisconsin and out west. The twinkle in his eye when he reminisced I had seen before in many trout anglers.
We fished a stretch for 2 hours. I sat down and rested often. Abe kept on fishing. He got hung up in a box elder branch and lost a lure. Abe told me box elders trees were his nemesis when he fished. He asked me which tree was my kryptonite. I told him, "ones with branches." We both had a chuckle and continued fishing. I thought to myself this guy is really driven. I hope I am like him at 76.
We got to the vehicle and Abe wanted to continue fishing. Abeís waders sprang a leak earlier and he fell in the water a couple times. He was quite wet. He wanted to change in to dry clothes before we continue. Abe peeled off his wet shirt and there were two things stuck to his chest. He could tell by my questioning look he needed to tell me what was up.
Abe told me he had been having heart problems lately and he was supposed to be wearing a heart monitor. He left it in the car because he was afraid of getting the electronics wet. Here I have been whining about being old and the guy I was fishing with left his heart monitor in his vehicle.
Abe reassured me that he was in no danger and he could continue fishing. I started brainstorming on a place to fish where it was not so hard walking. Now that I knew he was not as healthy as he looked I wanted an easy place to fish. I knew the place and it was upstream 5 miles.
We arrived at the well manicured field. It looked like a golf green. I picked the area because the farmer kept sheep and goats on the land and the weeds and brush were gone because of the goats. We walked and fished.
Abe told tales of the old days and of fish lost and landed. I walked a little forward to fish and looked back to check up on Abe. What I saw when I looked back scared me and I immediately asked Abe if he was ok. Abe was laying flat on the ground face down. I thought the worst and he could tell by my face. He told me to calm down. His back was acting up and he needed to straight it out and that was the best way to do it.
We fished a little bit more and he took a photo of me. He liked the lighting. He told me it captured the essence of trout fishing. He did not have a camera. I let him use mine. He was not camera savvy and needed an impromptu lesson on how to use it.
We drove to his car and we talked about our love of the outdoors. We shook hands and headed our separate ways and promised to fish again soon. As I drove home I smiled and thought about how I am going to be when I am 76. I hope I am like Abe and my eyes still twinkle when I talk of chasing trout and I am still driven to make one more cast