Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
Cast, drift, catch a fish, snap a pic, release the fish, repeat. That's about all that happens on a fishing trip, right? Wrong! Spending a day on the water is about much more than fish in the net, or a big trout that gets 500 likes on Instagram. Treasured memories and life's most important moments happen on the stream.
Almost two years ago, my then-girlfriend Stephanie, our great friends Eric and Hilary, and myself were driving up Colorado's Poudre River Canyon in search of a few grayling. It was a winding drive that makes just about everyone a bit nauseous under the best of conditions, let alone those who have an engagement ring burning a hole in his pocket. Once we finally got to the desired lake we had planned to fish, I got down on one knee and asked Stephanie to marry me. After a "yes" and some tears (mine, not Stephanie's) the four of us spent the day catching fish and glowing in the just-engaged bliss.
Fast forward two years and here Stephanie and I were spending the day fishing with my sister-in-law (Mickaela) and her boyfriend (lovingly referred to as Sickie). It was a few hours into the day when Sickie revealed that he had an engagement ring on him and was planning to pop the question before the fishing trip was done! When we pulled the truck in to the pull-off and I realized this was the last car ride Mickaela would take before being engaged, my heart began to thump in excited anticipation.
Trudging through the water to the desired location I pointed at something vague in the distance and asked Stephanie to take a few pictures of it. Of course, this was just a carefully executed ploy to get the camera at the ready and luckily Mickaela was none the wiser. When we got to the island that would serve as their engagement spot, I offered to rig up Sickie's rod since I had a unique setup for this run.
No sooner had I snipped off his flies when he said "Nick, no need to rig that up, I already have the catch of a lifetime." The words that followed are between them, but needless to say they left that streamside island engaged and grinning from ear to ear (not until after a few brown trout were caught, of course). A momentous life event had just transpired, and it was on a trout stream.
Did Stephanie or Mickaela ever envision their proposals would include waders and trout? I'd venture to guess no, but therein lies the power and joy of fly fishing. It's not about the fish caught or viral social media picture. It's an activity that takes root in most who try it, and fly fishing becomes a central part of life. Not in the sense that it's an excuse to travel out West or avoid household chores, but it's ingrained in us.
Fly fishing has a way of intertwining with life in such a way that it becomes part of our very fabric. That's really what happens on the stream: we find in our time on the water a way to unplug, make memories, and sometimes even take a few pictures with a shiny new engagement ring! For as long as trout swim in those waters we will pursue them and make some unforgettable memories along the way.
Can't make any promises on the engagement rings, but we can promise some trout action!!