The sun is out, the Wonderdog’s sprawled at my feet, the pool is waiting, and I’m writing this from a shaded back porch in Healdsburg (California’s wine country).
There aren’t many trout here (the Russian River is nearby, but I didn’t bring a rod), but that matters little; I’m here celebrating my third wedding anniversary.
Fortunately, one of us is good looking.
I know. It amazes me too.
Not the lack of a fly rod. More the fact the L&T has put up with me (and the Trout Underground) for three whole years.
We were married alongside the Upper Sacramento River (the little amphitheater at Dunsmuir City Park), and because I have a strong survival instinct, I spent the three days prior to the wedding out of town – fishing the Williamson river with Chris Raine, Dave Edmondson, and Steve Bertrand.
The fishing wasn’t spectacular, but that’s OK because the wedding was (OK, it was mostly a blur for me, though others remember it better and assure me it pegged the meter).
And yes, the man performing the ceremony leaned heavily on water/river/wilderness metaphors in the ceremony (fortunately, he didn’t reference stocked trout), and the rest is history.
Hell, I even got to fly fish a little on my honeymoon.
Three years later, I still wake up every morning alongside someone who wants me to go fly fishing more often than I do (I’m still unsure if that’s because of the attitude I develop when I haven’t been on the water).
Among fishermen in general, there’s a tendency to emphasize the sport’s anti-social tendencies; a bass fisherman I know joined a club and at his first meeting, proudly announced he was on his third wife, bass fishing having claimed the first two.
It drew a knowing laugh from several in the room, but in truth, it always bothered me.
Bass fishing wasn’t to blame, and it’s possible his former wives weren’t either.
We fly fish for different reasons, but I like to think most of us are moving towards something positive instead of running away from something less so, but then, humanity isn’t a monolith as much as a scattered population of individuals, only some of whom fall under the bell curve.
In the end, I’d like to think I got married for the same reasons I go fly fishing – I’m moving towards something good instead of running from something bad, even if I’m not always sure what that looks like.
So far, I can say that’s exactly how it’s playing out.
See you on the river, Tom Chandler.