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Laura and Warren and I made a day of it on Wednesday. When I started out my prime goal was to get Laura into a fish. There's a parental imperative that compels us to want to share with our children the things that give us joy. So we got up early and drove over hill and dale to Trout Lake.
Laura and I launched the canoe. Warren launched the float tube. Without a rod. It never occurred to me that it would be fun just to paddle around the lake for the sheer joy of it. Not only that, while Laura and I fished on Warren paddled back in, took a refreshing dip in the icy water, and then lay in the sun. Nice. Thanks for the lesson, Warren.
I had hoped that we'd beat the wind by getting to the lake early, but it turned out to be one of those fresh, windy days when the fish stay down. So I had Laura troll a series of flies. We covered a lot of water, but she got only three good bumps. Well, as I've said many times before, such is fishing.
But--I was starting to get it--what a fresh, beautiful day to be out on the lake in a canoe with your daughter. She didn't seem to think I had failed her in any significant way by not putting her onto a fish.
We packed up and headed on down the road.
We passed some Bighorn Sheep who had come down the mountain for a mid day graze, but we drove up the mountain and wound around on a gravel road to Split Rock, a local landmark, and made the ritual climb.
We made one more stop to see what the creek looked like--and to see whether Laura might not be able to catch one of those little mountain trout. But the creek, of course, was flowing high and strong, and we didn't find any trout willing to snap up our fly.
But by then it really didn't matter. What mattered was that we had shared a wonderful day in a beautiful place. The parental imperative was met after all. Fish will come and go, but this day, a mutual gift between father and daughter, will be ours forever.
Thanks, Laura. It was a great day.