For some 'black Friday' began as early as 10pm on Thursday night. For me, it began a little after 9 am. I got off to a late start and skipped breakfast. Stink wanted me at his house at 10am...I told him no. I knew myself well enough to know that I would not be there that early, so I reluctantly committed to 11am. By 10:45 I was sitting on his living room couch. He was going to take me fly fishing for the first time.
We left his house around 11:30 and I made him stop at Wendy's before going to the river. Bacon Cheeseburger in hand, we drove up the dusty dirt road and pulled up alongside a couple of other cars parked on the side of a gated-pasture. We sat in the bed of the truck getting ready to walk out to the river. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Once we had put on our waders and assembled our fishing poles we set out for the water.
I had debated whether or not to bring my camera with me. After realizing that we would be walking through the river and that I didn't not bring my waterproof bag, I decided to leave it locked up in the truck. I imagine we looked like the 2009 version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as we walked through the open field and alongside the river. We found a safe spot to cross and when we reached the other side we began 'rigging up.' Aaron (aka Stink) taught me the basics of tying of hooks and the proper way to cast.
By that time the weather, the kind that was 'better than we could have asked for' had changed. It was cold but not unbearable. We stood thigh-high in the water and continued to cast and mend the lines in hopes of catching fish. That never happened. I'm not sure if it was the pessimist in me or the realist, but I had no intention of catching any fish anyway. The good news is, I was not disappointed. Instead, I just enjoyed myself.
For me, fly fishing was never about catching the fish. Sure, I paid $26 for my 365 day license but that was just to make it legal. Instead, it was about learning something new. It was about being outside and being able to clear my mind. It was about appreciating nature, seeing bald eagles and deer in their natural environment. It was about being inconsequential in comparison to the grandeur around me. And, it was about spending time with a friend and creating great memories.