Why we fish
Josh very slowly and deliberately wades in and picks his way along the slippery bottom. He goes far beyond where I or anyone else ventures and comes upon a submerged rock cluster, which he very carefully clambered atop. In all those years, I never knew such a perch existed. From my vantage on the near shore, I could see the two trout rising regularly but certainly out of range. Josh stripped out more than half of his fly line, made a few calculations and false casts and settled his dry fly about two feet above the riser. When the fly drifted down in the bubble line, the trout sipped it in. It was a Brookie, usually a rarity on the Lackawaxen. After releasing the trout, he again focused on the other riser even further upstream.
I watched his beautiful tight loops extend further and further up the center of the river, and then he directed his final cast at the left slipstream off a rock 70 feet away. The fly settled like a piece of down and the trout took. It was a lovely 17-inch Brookie. I had just witnessed a sublime form of perfection, and my season was made. The student exceeded the mentor, and I was filled with joy. Normally, I would have scanned the lower pool for risers. Instead, I stood awhile, washed in the moment, and just smiled.
[Editor’s note: Andy Boyar’s regular fishing column, The Complete Tangler, appears in The River Reporter on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month during fishing season and during the off-season on the fourth Thursday of every month.]