Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fathers Day

The Canyon 

After a long 10 mile hike Paul and I could of hanged it up and went back to Bozeman to prepare for the week of work. That's what my wife did, she's the only smart one out of all of us. But we didn't. We stuck it out......sore feet, rain falling...mentally tired....but my Dad's face popped into my head that very moment and I knew he was watching, I knew if he were still around that just maybe he would of pushed through the fatigue and wet a line also.....because in life you never know what tomorrow may bring so live in the moment and play hard while you can.

Hungry Trout 

We looked at the water and didn't know where to start. The whitewater seemed to choke up the whole stream. But if you looked really could see that soft water. There was some on each bank, and a few seams in the middle. That's where every fish in this stream preferred to live and that's where we dropped our nymph's. These feisty cutthroat slammed our flies, they didn't hesitate, they didn't inspect our drifts. They were coming out of a long winter slumber and let us know they were ready to eat today. Dad would of probably sat on the bank. The water was a little too rough for his liking, but he would of still enjoyed himself with a lit cigar watching one of his sons fish.

Fish after fish surrendered to our offerings for a few hours this evening. It was a good time, but today wasn't about catching numbers of fish. Today was all about Fathers Day. For many years my brothers and I could celebrate Fathers Day with the man that brought us into this world, but this year was different. My brothers and I were separated by 3000 some miles but our heads were in the same place. The void left by my fathers early passing has been felt every day since he left, and today maybe felt a little harder.

As I dunked my flies into the soft seams, I couldn't help to think Dad was watching me. When I caught a limb on a back cast and let out a big "ought!" memories of years past hearing that same thing come out of his mouth flooded into my mind. Instead of getting mad I brushed it off, life is too short to let the small things ruin your day. How could I celebrate this day and honor the man I looked up to my whole life without being able to tell him to his face or by phone? As I sat on the bank thinking about it, almost to the point where I felt guilty I was experiencing it without him, his voice crept in my head again. I know what he'd say to me if he could say it......he would say get out there, get after them, stay after them and appreciate it. Appreciate the time you have out there, that's how I want you to honor me.

I find myself having conversations with him all the time, even though I know he's not here. But I do know he's listening. So I listened to him and got back after it. Let me tell you....I let the fish have it. I may have even been a little possessed there for awhile, but it felt like dad was talking to me, it felt real. So today I did my best at honoring my father. I spent time with my wife, I chatted with my family and I caught some damn pretty fish. The sting those fish must of felt when I set the hook time after time is pretty much what my family feels every day. They say time will heal us, but I'm not so sure. What I am sure of is I miss my Dad, and every time I step foot in a river I think about how excited he would be if he were still around doing the same. For the time being, I'm just going to keep letting his voice enter my mind because it gives me comfort. I'm going to keep looking up into these Big Skies knowing he's looking down on me with a smile on his face. This reports for you Dad, Happy Fathers Day, we miss you dearly and hope you got out on some water today.

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