Last June I departed New Jersey on my annual expedition to the Great State of Maine for "Ice out fishing". As I sat there in Maine that second night pondering my days fishing experience with a close relative it brought to the fore front the gist of my personal point of view and experience on the matter when dealing with family.
When I was in The Great Smokies fishing my friend made the comment one night as we lamented over evening cocktails (Happiest Hours for us beer drinkers), “Other than his brother, he enjoyed fishing with me.” I was so honoured, and I had the exact feelings, “Other than my brother, I enjoyed fishing with him.” was my response. That is the way it should be. It should be family first without exception. Period. No disrespect, the way I was raised and just the way it should be. I do have to freely admit, lets face it, it isn’t easy dealing with any relative no matter how close you are to each other. Period.
That day after I got my (older) brother all set up and situated to enter the stream to start fishing, insect repellant on his face, hands, brim of his cap, back of the neck, wading boots tied and covered with his stone guards, wading belt firmly attached to his mid drift, fly vest in order, fly boxes fully stocked from everything from nymphs to bonefish flies (just in case) as I watched him make his way off into the woods hopefully towards the stream WE intended to fish TOGETHER. Only then did I started to rig my own rod, begin the process of getting my own waders on to get into the stream for what I hoped would be a joyous occasion of fishing in a Northern Maine mountain stream, I just couldn’t wait, I’ve waited all year for this moment. Just after I placed my second leg into my waders I heard him call out to me from the direction of the stream to get his net!
Wow, a hook up so quickly I was so proud at… MY ability to get him set up properly, the right length the proper size leader and tippet, the perfect fly for the stream conditions it dictated and a little tip on how to fish that fly before I sent him on his way to the choicest of all spots on the stream.
Ah, the legend of AK’s fly fishing prowess continues I thought to myself with a sheepish grin. As I grabbed his net and my camera to document the momentous occasion I ran off into the woods in the direction of his voice as I hitched up my waders he came into view, I happened to observe that his rod wasn’t bent; did he lose that mountain stream trout so quickly? I hurried as quickly as I could I thought to myself, did the knot of his leader fail? Oh god no... I’d never hear the end of it, the fly some how came off…? Oh no please...
Oh even worse I thought, as I quickly approached the stream and seeing a slack line draped into the water below as he stood stonily affixed atop a boulder in the center of the stream with his mesh mosquito netting draped over his hat and face, “WHAT HAPPENED!!??” I sheeplessly asked.
“I just needed my net when I catch a fish."
Thus I have to admit fishing with relatives can be stressful.
As always, older brothers can’t help being older brothers.