I love fall. It is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite time of the year. The weather’s cool, the colors are spectacular, there are fewer people in town and Thanksgiving occurs. What’s not to love?
So, as I practice eating large quantities of food in preparation for “Turkey Day,” I did take time to think about all I have to be thankful for. And, since this is a column on fly fishing, I enjoyed reviewing everything wonderful connected to my fly fishing outings that happened this year.
The first thing that comes to mind is completing my quest to catch a fish, with my fly rod, in all 50 states. When I hooked a bass in Indiana, the final state, I was happy beyond words. But I was also thankful for the orthopedic doctors that had given me new knees allowing me to stand and fly fish without pain. I also have stronger glasses that help me tie on the larger flies I now use.
As I reviewed my fishing log for this year, I counted 12 states and one location that needed a passport before I was allowed to fly fish. On those trips, I waded, floated in a drift boat or my float tube, fished from my bass boat and my guides’ flats boats. Those locations produced nine different species of fish. And, if that’s all I did, it was a great year. However, I’m fortunate to have more to write about.
I am thankful to have fished with “The Wild Bunch.” Just watching three grandchildren get excited about landing a 6-inch fish is the best. The Wulff Pack, (old guys and their grown sons) also produced events that I still find myself smiling and laughing out loud about. The old guys were great. But being asked to help with instruction for Braided, the new ladies fly fishing club, was a step above them. The ladies take instruction better and are lots prettier.
This year, I was also able to fish the fundraising tournament for Casting For Recovery. For those of you that don’t know, CFR is a non-profit organization that uses fly fishing to help women dealing with some stage of breast cancer. If you want to laugh, cry and feel good about donating time and money all in the same day, I suggest you volunteer with this organization
As the Sunday morning infomercials say, “Wait, there’s more!” Two friends from a wine tasting and fly fishing trip way in the past called. They were in town and wondered if I’d like to fly fish with them? Sometimes people ask the silliest questions. Then friends in town called and asked if I’d go fly fishing with an out-of-town friend of theirs. (See last response) And to put the icing on the cake, several young people have called and asked me to go fly fishing with them. Just as friends.
This brings me to planning for next year’s Thanksgiving column. If I don’t plan ahead and write it down, I’ll never remember what I’d planned on saying. Other than during mud season, and one trip needing a passport, I plan on fly fishing Colorado. There are so many places to fly fish in this great state; it’s my job to seek them out and report back to you. You’ll read about some of these places from time-to-time. But the big summary will come next November.
In closing, have a great Thanksgiving. Be sure and say thanks to everyone that has helped you have things to be thankful.
I thank YOU for reading my column.
Reach Don Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org