Wet n Wild Fishing

Took the Ninja on a brief ride up the Poudre.

Stopped to sit with the river.

A couple other families were there.

I rested into the downstream view of rocks and splashes, soaking in the smell of water. Picked up a heart shaped rock by my feet. Ready to be fully present with the moment.

Squeal from upstream “Dad, I caught a fish!!” “Dad, look!” “I did it with a lure” with several squeaks in the middle. Mom tried to get the hook out, but no luck.

I turned to look and the boy dangled a squirming fish in front of his face.  The fish shimmered in the sun, but it was nothing compared to the grin behind it.

With much scrambling back down the rocks, proud trophy clutched high in the air, other hand full of rod and reel, the boy collected brothers along the way downriver to Dad. Dad waded in to shore , reeling in his bright green flyfishing line. The fish was longer than his hand. A brown trout, I’d guess, but I know nothing about fishes.

As Dad tried to remove the hook, Mom made a stringer out of a branch. I don’t think they got it out.

I’m grinning as I turn back to watching the water dance through the rocks. I am so blessed to have shared silently in the right of passage, the jubilation!

And then I hear it. A different voice.  Just as young, but without wildness. “Excuse me. May I please look at your fish?”

I turn to see that another family has arrived.  A skinny boy with winter-pale white skin pushes black rimmed glasses up further on his nose. His tank top shows no farmer’s tan, no tan at all. With a little encouragement, he steps forward from his entourage of oversized adults. He tentatively reaches out a finger to stroke the shiny brown scales, and the fish flops back and forth and he jumps back. But he comes in again. I can hear the tenor of his questions – careful, a learned-school voice, terribly polite. Nearly drowned out in the young brothers’ excitement over the fate of the fish.

I look at the families. The pale boy’s family of 4 very large adults holds back, observing, uncertain.  I wonder when was the last time they were out in the wilds? Just for today, this white skinned boy is squinting through sparkles cast off the rapids. He’s feeling the slick scales, watching as the life ebbs from the fish. And his curiosity is met by Mom holding the fish line, brothers tumbling over words of the story, and Dad standing in soaked hiking boots.  He meets wilderness. And it embraces him fully.

Leaving them to their explorations, I clambered back up to my motorcycle. I left the heart shaped rock on the car door handle I suspected the pale boy will use.

On the ride down the canyon, I learned that rain through a mesh jacket is very cold and can be prickly sharp. So different from the hot slow drops inside my helmet.

Wet wild river blessings.

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