I’m sure most everyone has or has had an emotional attachment to someone or something at some point in life. As a child I had a collection of Breyer horses. I kept them on a bookcase in my room and would take them down and dust them just to look at them–the only thing I would dust without my mom having to tell me to dust them, but don’t tell her that. During one summer’s particularly active thunderstorm season I think I carried my collection in a cardboard box to the cellar at least three times. My older sister has never let me live that down.
A few weeks ago my husband and I were fly fishing on the Conejos River in Colorado with a fly fishing guide when I hooked a trophy-sized rainbow trout. Our guide coached me as I fought to land the mammoth trout directing me to reel it toward the river’s bank. That’s when I realized, “Oh my gosh! He doesn’t have a net!” As he positioned his hands underneath the fish, my guide assured me that I could consider this fish caught, because if I lost it now, it was no fault of mine. With that said he scooped the fish up in his hands and tossed it up and onto the bank of the river.
I stared at the fish, amazed at its size and beauty and awe-struck that I had actually hooked such a trophy, knowing this was the kind of fish my husband and many other anglers only dreamed of catching. It still seems surreal. Later our guide told us that he had lost his net a couple of weeks prior after guiding a party on another river. At the end of that day he neglected to load the net into his vehicle. As he drove down the mountain he realized he had forgotten his net, so he turned around and went back to the retrieve it only to find his net already gone. He said the net held great sentimental value for him, and he had not yet been able bring himself to replace it.
Hopefully he will now. The experience of helping me land my trophy fish without one might add some affection to a new net.