Getting Dirty

Happy Monday! I write this post after a joyfully exhausting weekend getting down and dirty both Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday the weather finally felt like a true late April day at a perfect 70 degrees so I forgot all the chores I had inside the house and created tasks for myself outdoors. The brown bald spots left in the yard from last year’s drought were now covered in “lawn repair” stuff. I planted zinnia seeds around the tree facing the street and had watered all of my work with a 5 gallon bucket filled with water that had holes drilled on the bottom. By the time my stomach told me it was time to go in my arms were talking to me and I was covered in splotches of mud. Good day. But Saturday… I was still glowing from Saturday.

Saturday, my good friend Andi took me fly fishing in the Driftless Area just outside of Spring Green. I had gone fishing with her several times last year, but we went to creeks close by that were over-fished in hot sunny conditions (not good fishing success). Saturday, however, the clouds gently crept along the sky, like they were tiptoing over the slumbering earth. A quiet breeze brushed away any possibility of the new sun waves frying our faces. The creek gurgled like a sweet spring song, beckoning me to come closer. I felt it in my bones. The elements were catering to me.

After only a few clumbsy casts into the creek however did I fall into my old surrender. “Forget it, it’s not gonna happen. I’m not doing this right.”

Andi sweetly disagreed, and then we both noticed that as I tried to raise my rod for another cast, the line was tight.

“Laura, do you have a fish?” Andi calmy asked me.

I took a breath and somehow knew to pull my rod over to the right a little, opposite of the current. The line stayed tight. “I… I think… I… have a fish.”

Andi asked, “Is there wiggle on the end of your line?” We were amazingly quiet and calm.

“Why, yes, Andi.” I took a big loud breath and couldn’t help but squeal, “I HAVE A FISH!”

We both proceeded to squeal and gawk like girls at a rock concert. Andi rushed to the bank and instructed me to try to bring the fish over to her, “…but let him wear himself out a little in the current first.” I basically worked him over as soon as I could, too excited to get my first fish ever in my hands.

“Laura! It’s a beautiful brown! I bet he’s ten inches!” Andi held him for me like I just gave birth to this perfect little fish.

LBN's first trout

Within minutes I was down in the water, taking my temporary prize into my own hands. Andi rushed to get her camera while I was in awe. I kept holding the precious aquatic creature in the water and bringing him back out to take in his beauty. The “pink squirrel” I tied was perfectly hooked into his upper lip, just like you see in the fishing magazines. By the time I turned to Andi to hold the fish up and smile, the trout slid out of my hands and back into the creek. He had successfully slipped out of my fly hook without disasterous struggle. I was so happy. All of it was so exciting and beautiful.

After tying flies for two years and only fishing a few times, being a member of the SWTU, I finally caught my first fish, ever. This fish was caught on my fly rod, with a fly I tied myself, and I got to fish with an amazing girlfriend.

Who else can count themselves so fortunate?

Get out of your clean indoor environment and get dirty! May your days be filled with your own healthy version of treasure hunting, aligning with the elements, and celebrating life with an amazing friend!

My friend, Andi


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