Trout- A Memory

The first fish I ever caught was a rainbow trout. It was magical. And knowing now what I know about fishing, nothing short of a miracle. A perfect moment, a gift. I remember its sleek body emerging from the water with its rainbow iridescent sheen.

I was 6 or 7 and my father had taken me fishing. It was one of his visits when he drove up from San Diego to see us on the weekend. I couldn’t tell you where he took me, but I remember the place perfectly. I’ve seen “it” a hundred times in my adult life exploring the Sierras. It was an alpine stream making its way down into the foothills and probably, ultimately, to the American River. Crystal clear water lined by granite boulders. I was armed with a cheap kiddie fishing rod and a jar of red salmon eggs. I remember seeing those  bright red pearls spilled from the bellies of ripe female salmon as they were caught from below the dam in a last ditch effort to spawn the future generation.

He sat me up on a big granite rock and I remember him showing me how to cast. I’m reminded of it when I watch my brother patiently instruct his son. He helped me cast and left me perched on that rock, the warm California sun sifting through the trees and sparkling on the water below. He didn’t hover, but rather took a position on a neighboring rock. I could have cast in the same spot a million times and not had such luck. But perfectly, as if that moment was meant to be, and become a part of me, I felt that little tug.

(Can’t say why, but I was feeling this memory so I had to write it down last night.)

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