I discovered a fishing secret several years ago. The trick is that fish don’t mind if it rains or not. We’ve always joked that because fish live in the water, they’re already wet. This joke comes to mind for me when the rain begins to fall while I stand on a mossy bank casting a rooster tail into a slow-moving creek. Unlike most anglers, I can back up my joke with a factual storey.
My Dad, Uncle Fred, Cousin Freddie, and I were fishing several of Eastern Oregon’s rivers and streamed quite a few years back. For much of the morning, it had been gloomy yet warm. The bite was adequate, but nothing to write home about. We’d work a stream for a while before jumping in our vehicles and driving up the road to the following location. Of course, the company was excellent. Fishing becomes more pleasurable when you’re out in the gorgeous landscape, working a stream in complete solitude with the occasional excellent talk thrown in.
My Uncle Fred and Cousin Freddie decided to move upstream a few creeks. The clouds were beginning to darken, and they had a hole that they needed to test. We lingered a little longer at the stream where we were fishing. We decided to go up to the next creek after a few nibbles. The clouds decided to let loose as soon as we started driving down the road. It poured. It poured heavily. As we got near to our destination, the rain appears to be getting heavier. We looked at each other when we arrived at our stream as if daring the other to first get out of the vehicle.
It rained. We just stared out the truck windows at the creek running alongside the road as it continued to rain. It didn’t take long for the decision to be reached that the rain would not cease. My father said we’d go as soon as Fred and Freddie arrived. I agreed though I was annoyed that the rain wouldn’t let up long enough to fish one last stream.
I’d had enough of watching the water flow in the creek and on by the passenger window of our yellow Chevy Luv after a few minutes. I said, “I just know there’s a fish waiting to be caught in there.” With a smile, my father suggested that I could always go out and try. I told him that I wasn’t desperate or dumb in the least. There was no raingear and no standing in a torrential downpour.
Nonetheless, I had a thought. I rolled down my window and slid my seven-foot pole out of the truck’s cab. Dad was adjusting as rapidly as he could to avoid being struck in the head by the pole’s butt. By this point, it should be clear that I was desperate.
I tossed a crawler into the water after a few tries. I warned, “Get ready for some fish.” It was fish on in a matter of seconds! To bring the Rainbow in, Dad had to roll down his window, and I had to pull the rod through the cab of the truck. We couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. It was among the most enjoyable and memorable fishing trips I’ve ever been on.. One of the greatest because Dad and I had a good laugh together. And it’s because of the important lesson I’ve learned. Fish, on the other hand, is unconcerned.