On the Fly: Many fishing partners over the years
On The Fly
Over the years, I’ve had many fishing partners. Some come and go and some stick around and become part of my normal weekly fishing routine. My favorite partners always arrive early and stay late. As is often said, there are three things that you should never be late for; dinner, church and fishing. Sure, there are times when I’ll eat dinner on the river or skip church occasionally (sorry, Mom — the fishing’s too good right now), but one thing is for sure, I’m always on time to go fishing.
My favorite fishing partner always has had many desirable traits. Namely, being on time, doesn’t talk about politics or work, doesn’t get upset if I forget his birthday, won’t “high-hole” me while I’m stalking a rising fish, doesn’t complain about the weather or the food that I bring and he’s always happy to go fishing. My favorite fishing partner for the past 15 years was my dog, Trico.
Trico was named after a particular hatch of tiny white-winged, black-bodied mayflies that represents the ultimate in light-tackle, dry-fly fly-fishing. Ironically, my dog Trico also was tri-colored (white and black with a touch of brown), so it seemed like a fitting name. Trico was a rescue shelter dog that came to me as a puppy, complete with a cast on one of his front legs from jumping out of a moving pickup truck via an ex-wife. Though the marriage didn’t last, my favorite fishing partner did, up until his passing just a few weeks ago. I half-heartedly joke that he was my first born since my daughter, now twelve, was three years his junior.
After cancer sadly consumed Trico, I had to make the tough choice of putting him down. As he took his last breath while laying his head on my lap for the last time, I took a small clump of his black and white hair and neatly put it in an empty fly cup. I went home to cry and mourn, and while doing so hatched a plan to celebrate his life.
I sat at my fly-tying vise, eyes welled-up with tears, and slowly and lovingly tied four size 22 Trico Spinners from my dog, Trico’s hair. Of all the places and states and streams that we fished together over the past fifteen years, the Roaring Fork River at Independence Pass was his spot. I loaded a small 3wt. fly rod in my truck and set off to go fish the Pass one last time together, this time in spirit. I threaded one of my Trico Ppinners, got my feet wet and proceeded to land a beautiful six inch brook trout on my fourth cast; mission complete.
Fishing partners come and go, but none knew me better or complained less than my friend Trico. God bless good fishing dogs!
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