Mom died of pancreatic cancer and there was nothing any of us could do about it. We could sit in the hospital room and hold her hand. We took shifts to make sure she was never alone.
I kept rods and a fly bag in the trunk of my car. My shift would end and I’d drive to water.
I wrote part of the eulogy I’d give at my mother’s funeral in my head while fly fishing.
We have a family friend with a farm pond. My brother and I went there to not think about anything but poppers and surface takes and jumps.
I sorted things out on the water. I’m here because of a river; my mother’s great aunt rented waterfront property from my father’s great grandfather. My parents met there at age two.
I couldn’t sleep so I bought beer at a gas station and fly fished for bass under a bridge. I caught one and slipped on the bank and stepped on my fly rod and didn’t care.
For all the hours spent arguing and searching to define and redefine it, fly fishing is really only what you need it to be.