Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fishing the Earthquake

I've always liked how fishing serves as a gateway to experiences. It's a reason to go somewhere. It's a reason to get out of the car. It's a reason to choose one hike over another. It's a reason to be outside in places and at times you may not otherwise have gone or been there. And when there, you often get to witness things you wouldn't have experienced or seen otherwise.
Sunset over the house a couple hours before the quake.

This week I had the pleasure of being one of the few -  if not the only - fishermen to be picking my way along the river's edge when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake jostled the region at 12:30am. I did not know how widely it had been felt in that moment, so I noted the time on my watch and planned to look it up later to learn the details. But as dawn glowed on the horizon and I found myself driving back into cell range, my phone began dinging with various alerts and updates about it - when it happened, how big it was, where the epicenter was, check my structures, report gas leaks, etc.  Social media was plastered with people's stories of surprise, shock, and general uneasiness. It had provided a good scare back in civilization.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Time well wasted: a daddy-daughter day

One trip, two perspectives

My soon to be eight-year old daughter and I took a day trip over the continental divide and into new trout country to us.  We'd planned to do so when school ended for the summer. The premise was fishing. The idea was to explore new creeks and look for some dry fly action. It didn't really go all that well from my perspective, at least as viewed through the lens of my expectations. I'd planned to write about the trip and took mental notes in preparation. I had essentially scrapped the idea late in the day, thinking there really wasn't much to tell -  and then found that my daughter had already written about the trip. She'd captured the day's events in a little notebook in the back seat of the truck. Eight short pages of dedicated second-grade scrawl made over bumpy roads. Fresh insight into her day, and how she'd seen it through something other than my expectations.

We left the gas station with freshly washed windows, streaked in the places she couldn't reach very well.  She loves to wash the windows of my truck anytime I'm pumping gas.  Doesn't matter the weather.  She tore into the little treat we'd bought from the candy racks and shared a bite with me.

Beside me in the front seat our fly rods rattled and buzzed.  She had a new one that was all her own.  Ratty Montana road maps used to the point of falling apart lay under them. Leaving the house had been delayed when at first I couldn't find these maps. Our waist packs were on the floor boards with the fly gear for the day stuffed into them.  Her little purple bag contained a box full of "the pretty ones" she'd selected from my fly boxes earlier that morning.