Discover more from Dispatches from a Trout Wrangler
500 words about... week seven
This week's offering.
There is a military maxim that goes, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” One of my standards is when I get home from fishing, I prepare my gear for the next trip. I check everything to make sure it is ready to go. If something is not working or needs to be replaced, I want to know then, not when I meet the client of get to the river. I do this every time. Sure, it would be fine sometimes to not bother with it and get to it when I could. But I’d not be meeting the standard of readiness I set for myself. I won’t accept that.
I was delighted to see Rio have moved their fly line spools to a new compostable spool. This is a sensible approach to getting plastic out of the waste stream. I’ve reused spools over years, but I’ve tossed most of them. There really wasn’t a lot you could do with them. Plastic waste has been one of those challenges that has seemed overwhelming to address and often it felt like pushing rope to address. And while the consumer can push for better options, it falls on the manufacturer to take the action before it gets in the consumer’s hand. Good for Rio for taking this step.
One of the great pleasures is the time at the end of the fishing sitting on the tailgate. These “hot wash” sessions, reviewing the day’s events with fishing buddies, hold some terrific memories. They can be quick and dirty recap or go late into the night. Part of the allure is the chance to re-experience the high points and laugh about the not so high points. Some of the most valuable insights have come from these times when the moment is not charged with anticipation or purpose but more a meditation on the pleasures of being on the water and enjoying the time for what it is.
“Could it be, I asked myself, that no man was truly dead while yet one person lived who treasured his memory?” I read that somewhere this week, can’t remember where, and it felt so true to me. There are many who are still with me in my memory. Some I knew well, some are family members, and some I only knew of. They still live on in my thoughts. Some of those thoughts may be touched with sadness, some with a laugh out loud for no reason, and some a pause to reflect on some wisdom passed along. The notion that death is not final if we hold the memories is comforting. At my age, the memories are a well-stocked and treasured library. Like reaching on the shelf and re-reading a favorite book.
We had an addition to the family this week, a rescue kitten we named Oliver. I’m more of a dog guy, but it’s hard to resist the allure of a kitten. He was sickly when he got here, requiring a couple of nights of dozing rather than sleep. This is the second rescue in our house. My sister also has one, as do my stepson and his wife. All four started out here in the care of my wife, whose training as a nurse has been invaluable. Watching them grow is a delight, providing hours of diversion from the more mundane tasks in my life. And fortuitously, a reason not to complain about not fishing this week.
The aforementioned Oliver