After months of pestering, I finally convinced Angie to come along on a trip with Jack and I. She is very pregnant and we know that there will not be many more opportunities for family outings until the baby comes. For obvious reasons we didn’t want to do anything too intense and with all that in mind we decided for a quick morning trip to the headwaters of the East Verde River.
Things started out with both Angie and I surprised. Me, because I could actually cast with Jack on my back…
…and Angie because I managed to not hook her son in the process.
We worked our way downstream, trying to tread lightly in the tight canyon. Angie handled the walk down stream like a champ.
My favorite hole was next and Jack still hadn’t gotten to see a fish, so I left Angie and Jack to do a little serious work. They filled the time with a game of look-funny-in-the-camera
And with some very important splashing.
While I worked on finally catching a fish
TIME TO SHOW JACK
He didn’t care at all. At least I got one descent picture.
Downstream we found a hole chuck full of fingerlings. I gave them a shot with a small nymph
Nothing. After giving the fish some time to relax, Angie tried a dry.
Nothing. With the sun getting higher in the sky, the bite slowing down, and our little fishing partner still having fun, we decided to call it a day before things took a turn for the worse.
I’ve said this before but at the risk of waxing a too poetic about a tiny stream I will say it again: there is something wonderful about returning to the same places over and over again. It gives you a reference point, a stationary object by which to measure yourself. The place stays the same, but you change.
Things have changed a lot since Jack’s first trip to the area.
And things will be changing a lot more.
Soon we’ll have a son who is fishing himself and a family that is bigger and better. Our little fishing hole will still be there, waiting for us to introduce our newest member. I, for one, can’t wait.
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Max Wilson is a graduate student studying ecology at Arizona State University. He writes here at Lesser Places, has occasionally written for Backpacker.com, and even more occasionally written for scientific journals. You can follow him on twitter @maxomillions.