Dawn Patrol, June 2021

I’m going through a bit of a refresh: I’m replacing my four-year old iPhone, swapping out our 12-year-old family computer, and throwing out some old t-shirts. I supposed it’s normal after a pandemic and the desire to start anew.

Yesterday, I did a refresh of a different kind: I fly-fished my favorite river starting at dawn. A fellow fly-angling friend calls it “dawn patrol.” I awoke at 2:30 am, fished for 14 hours, drove a ton, and got home at 10 pm. It’s probably not “normal” to do such a schedule, but it’s my typical summer outing, as I want to be on the water by civil twilight and the first to show flies to the fish. If you’re going to fish, I figure, then try to fish well.

After an eight-hour shift, I did something that I haven’t done before when I am on the water: have a leisurely sit-down lunch in an air-conditioned place replete with beer. But, it was a great way to rejuvenate.

After 14 hours of fishing, I decided to call it quits. It was a long day, and most fly anglers don’t fish like that. But when you want to fish, nay, need to fish after a funeral in the family, an insane work schedule, and a household that used to be full with children and is much less so now with most in college or beyond, you get the sense that time is fleeting and you must fish while you’re still physically able. I think a death in the family and a pandemic has really made me realize this: we all talk about a “bucket list,” but I’m getting the real sense that one day my bucket will be bone-dry, and so, it’s best to get on with it.

I hope everyone is enjoying summer….

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