I hit the river at dawn and headed to a favorite stretch. The last morning of the Pittsburg, NH, fishing trip evoked some emotions: gratitude and longing for my children.
As I drove around the area and walked familiar paths to and from the river, they reminded me of the many outings I have had with my children in Pittsburg. It is where they all learned to fly fish.
As I told Jamie, it was great to have him as a fishing friend. He is a great guy, an amazing angler, and he helped me create new memories and miss less my children and the years gone by.
Perhaps it was good fortune, but Jamie and I saw many fish on the last morning yesterday. Many were on dries. I landed over two dozen, including a 14″ rainbow and some 13″ brookies, which are good-sized for the Trophy Stretch.
I nearly caught a decent landlocked salmon, but it got below me in some white water in the ninth inning, and I couldn’t chase it while standing in the strong current. But, I now know where it lives.
At one point, suddenly, extremely loud thunder rumbled and progressively got closer. Jamie was 25 yards away, and we gave each other knowing looks. I reeled up. I walked over to him. We chatted and agreed to stop fishing. Why risk it, we thought.
Plus, we both felt that we had done very well, and it felt right to end the trip on a high note. I don’t think we could have done better, I said. He agreed. We both marveled at the quantity and quality of fish.
Some days are slow up there, but, sometimes, everything clicks. The last morning was one of those magical moments.
So, we drove to the Happy Corner Cafe, a favorite brunch spot for me and my children. They loved the homemade English muffins and desserts there.
Perhaps it was good fortune, but a few minutes after we walked in, a ferocious thunderstorm hit, flash-flooding the dirt parking lot and nearly obscuring the view out the windows. Customers dashed to and from the cafe to and from their cars. A light-grey mist enveloped everything in sight.
Jamie and I ate a pile of food and chatted about the fish we caught, the flies that worked, the trips we’ve taken in the past, and the ones we want to make in the future. A hearty breakfast and hot coffee felt like luxuries when it was raining outside.
You’ve had such days. While your legs and back are tired from days of fishing, you feel content, and a warm meal is fulfilling and extra tasty. It is as though you’ve really earned it.
Perhaps it was good fortune, but the rain had completely stopped when we left the cafe. Call it what you want, I said to Jamie, but we’ve been really blessed or have had tremendous luck this trip.
Later, we shook hands and wished each other well. I think it is great to have fly-fishing friends. This group of blog writers is truly special. Many of us fished the Farmington (here) and had a blast, and Jamie and I really got along on this trip.
The drive home was as scenic as ever, and it made for a great coda. Another memorable fishing trip in the books.
Thanks again, Tall Timber! When I’m up there, I’m back in time and in the present, both combined and jumbled. All of the memories, both old and new, are truly special and priceless.