“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary can speak.”
Every June for the last three years, I have flown to Colorado to spend a few days fishing with my brother Shawn. In March of 2015, I purchased my plane ticket before knowing big changes were heading my way. You see, I’m an attorney by profession and I had been with the same law firm for twelve years. I had been considering making a change during the last few years and going out on my own, but the timing had never felt right. However, everything came to a head during June of 201 5 when I realized that it was now time to cut ties with my old firm and be the captain of my own ship.
Even though I knew the job change was the right thing for me, I experienced terrible fear of failure and stress, so much that it made me sick to my stomach. I even thought about canceling my trip to Colorado and said to my wife, Kristin, “Maybe I should stay home. How can I even enjoy myself with all this turmoil in my life?”
“You already have your plane ticket. You should still go. Fishing with Shawn will be good for you and will help you deal with the stress. I know you and Shawn will have a good time .Everything here will be fine.” My good wife reasoned with me.
With her encouragement, I decided to keep my plans. I brought my Badger Tenkara Rod along for the trip. On our first day, Shawn and I fished a high mountain lake in the Sangre De Christo Mountains and a beautiful, nearby mountain stream. I enjoyed myself that day, but worries of the future were never far from the forefront of my mind.
On the second day, Shawn and I traveled over into new country for me. First thing that morning we fished a small river I’ve dubbed “Buffalo Creek” (though that it is not it’s real name). I wrote about this awesome river in my last post, “Tenkara Humble Pie.” I really enjoyed fishing with my tenkara rod on this technical brown trout river and caught four trout that morning. On the other hand, Shawn got skunked so we decided to explore.
Shawn drove us to a tributary to Buffalo Creek that I will call “Pine Creek.” Shawn turned off the main road onto a two-track that led us to a creek bottom. Pine Creek is a meandering, willow-lined meadow stream. By this time, the sun was bright overhead and the surrounding young foliage was verdant green. With the runoff, the flows were over the banks, but the water had just cleared enough to be fishable. At first, Shawn and I thought the creek might be too high to fish well, but we decided to look closer.
As we walked upstream, we observed numerous big mayflies dancing over the water’s surface and less graceful stoneflies helicoptering around us. With the tenkara rod, I cast to a likely looking run with a Stimulator and a nice trout readily rose to it, but I missed.
“Andy, those are Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns and Yellow Sallies! We should stay awhile!” Shawn exclaimed. With the multitudes of bugs flying around us, it didn’t take Shawn and I long to figure out we were experiencing something truly special. All of my worries of the present and the future seemed to fade away.
Shawn and I fished together taking turns at each likely spot. The rule was that you got to fish until you caught one and then it was the other guy’s turn. Together, we caught twenty or so browns and brook trout in every likely run, all on dry flies. These fish were much bigger than the ones I had caught earlier on Buffalo Creek. With the tenkara rod, I had to give chase to some of the bigger runners, which was a rush (no pun intended).
We fished as far up the creek as we could before our progress was blocked by beaver dams and flooded, boggy meadows. We walked back to the truck all the while talking about how epic the experience was. This is the type of moment every fisherman hopes to experience every time they go out.
This glorious moment made me so glad that I had come, even though everything in my life seemed tumultuous at the time. Suddenly, the difficult changes that lay before me did not seem so daunting and I felt like things would be alright.