I ordered a book from Amazon last week, which is not unusual because I try to read two books every month, but rarely have I anticipated one quite this much. In fact, I don’t think any Robbins family member has been so excited for a new volume since my 9-year-old nephew wore his full Gryffindor suit for a month while waiting for the 872nd Harry Potter book to come out.
I owe an apology to the women of Alaska. Heading into my recent trip, I figured that in the most distant and different state, gender roles would be remarkably separated and antiquated. In fact, my experience turned out to be exactly the opposite of that – the women up there are not only every bit as capable as the men, but they have the same frontier spirit and can-do-it (must-do-it?) attitude.
The last of our local bass-centric tackle shops died a few years ago. Sure, Bass Pro and Cabela’s are more accessible than ever before, but it seems to me to be ridiculous that the Potomac River – a world-class and exceptionally popular tournament venue – can’t support one kick ass place for me to squander my paychecks.
My Montana cutthroat replica arrived a few days ago, looking as if it had been freshly snatched from the Bitterroot. It’s been 11 months since I caught the trout, and seeing it again brought me back to a really good memory – positive not just because the trip was a celebration of our 10th anniversary, but also because it occurred in a remarkably beautiful place as one puzzle piece in an exceptional vacation. Furthermore, in a life filled with what some people might say are too many days chasing fish only to throw them back, it was my first fly fishing experience.
Unlike the other mounts in our house, the decision to purchase this replica was not preordained. I’d always said that I’d get a replica made when I caught a double digit largemouth, so when I caught a 12 pounder on my birthday in 2012, I ordered one that afternoon. Before our second trip to the Amazon, the Redheaded Wife and I had decided that if either/both of us caught a peacock bass of 18 pounds or more, we’d get a replica made. She caught two nineteens and I caught a twenty and a twenty one, so we each earned one for the wall. When I went trout fishing, though, I had no such prior notions. In fact, nearly a year later, I still don’t know whether this fish was a “trophy” for the Bitterroot or for anywhere else, and I really don’t care. This one is less about some semi-arbitrary marker of trophy status than it was about rediscovering what I loved about fishing in the first place.