Posted on February 9, 2012 by Administrator
Abby is my 4th grandchild (of 5 ) and 2nd granddaughter (of 3) . Taking her fishing has been my great pleasure and an on-going , now 4 year long (she caught her 1st Elk River trout at age 2 ) , study into viewing the river through her eyes , the eyes of a child ….
To a child there is no pressure to produce trout and although they view them as good things they do not elevate them to a more lofty pedestal , then say for instance , a crawfish or string of frog eggs . All things on the river are of equal importance to her and deserve equal attention ….. The tiny young of the year black nose dace is , in her eyes , every bit as interesting , and special , as a sipping 18″ brown . This is especially true after she has caught a couple trout on a given evening ! 2 trout are enough for anyone in her mind because to give trout more attention would , of course , require them to slight another creature and this simply is not acceptible ……
Early in our joint venture I would do my best to sell her on the idea that if 2 trout were a good thing , 5 must be a very good thing and a couple dozen utter bliss ! This being the case , (and with utter bliss rising within fairly easy casting distance ) might it not be wise to have a go at bliss instead of settling for merely good …… That was my pitch , night after night , but the little girl was having none of it ! Now at 1st I considered her viewpoint on the matter darn near heresy and at times I became impatient , especially since it soon became apparant that the other river critters were not to be viewed alone ….. “Are you sure Pap can’t catch a couple while you look at the tadpoles ?” I might ask , only to be told “they aren’t tadpoles , they are little fish , come look !” Not looking was NOT an option and so grumbling all the while , I would stop and go look at whatever miracle it was that she had found . This is how it was fishing with Abby and I kept telling myself that I just had to hang in there and try to teach her , stubborn student though she was !
I don’t even remember when the real miracle started to take place , probably because it crept up on me slowly , little by little . What I eventually started to become aware of , little by little , was that there was indeed a teacher and a stubborn student involved in this relationship but I had our roles completely backwards ! SHE WAS TEACHING ME !! Abby was teaching /reminding me that there is more to life then chasing numbers and more to the river then trout and sometimes you have to set down the rod and just take a look around or you will miss out . If you never take your eye off the trout you will miss the rainbow darter , you won’t notice the caddis that look like a moving clump of sticks and you will never be aware of the tiny scuds that live in the moss . The river is the sum of all its parts and you have to slow down to see them , and her . I am not going to try and tell you that I can do this all the time , but I do try and do it . The bottom line is that she is a pretty patient teacher so there may be hope for me yet …… Thanks Abby !