A brief encounter

I’m in the middle of a stolen moment and fishing on the side of the road as I slowly make my way back home. I’ve been staring at this run for years, but have never fished in. But today I have the time. 

A pickup comes down the road, hauling a classic old truck. I’m staring at the truck. The driver is staring back at me. 

The guy skids to a stop and lowers his window. “Are you catching any fish?” he calls out.

“Oh yeah,” I called back. “All the usual little guys.”

“I drive by this spot all the time from Princeton,” he says, jumping out of his truck. “I’ve always wanted to fish here.”

“This is my first time here,” I say. “But I’ve fished this creek a lot.”

“I see people fishing up by the dam all the time,” he says. “But I’ve never seen someone fishing here. It’s always looked so good.”

“The dam is a good spot,” I reply. He’s not quite listening to me as much as he is excited to be watching me fish. His enthusiasm is almost tangible. He wasn’t doing much. But it was clear he would rather be knee deep in the creek like I was.

A car comes up from the other direction. The guy I’m talking to hasn’t pulled over as much as I thought he had, and doesn’t really move off the road as the car approaches. He just stares down the driver as they inch through the space between him and his truck. 

“Are you using a dry fly?”

“Yeah. A Tom Thumb.”

“Man. That looks like so much fun.”

“It’s great if you like catching a ton of little fish.”

“That reminds me of being a kid.” He smiles and glances back at his truck. “Well. Good luck.”

He drives off and I smile. People rarely stop to chat out here. It’s even rarer to see someone with that level of excitement over such a small creek.

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