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Friday, September 23, 2011

Hair, Trout, and Love

Gary and I arrived in the Methow Valley Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of fishing Moccasin Lake. We had reservations at the Mt. Gardner Inn. Alison, one of the proprietors checked us in. Right away were pleased with setting and the room. Our initial impressions turned out to be true. It was excellent.

After dropping off some gear at our room we fished a local, public lake the first evening. We both caught a few fish in the 12-14 inch range. It was pleasant. The highlight of the evening was two other anglers who showed up shortly after we did. They took an aluminum boat off the top of a pickup truck. George had clearly done this before. His wife, Nancy, mostly watched. George mentioned that she just had knee surgery. After some doing, George got Nancy situated on a swivel seat in the stern of the boat. George sat in the middle and rowed. They laughed and kidded each other like good natured 20 year olds. They had gray hair. The hair that wasn't gray was white. The banter between them made both Gary and I smile and chuckle several times. At one point Nancy fell off of the seat onto the bottom of the boat. George was very solicitous. Not hurt, Nancy just laughed and laughed. Clearly they were old and had been married a long time but they still acted like 20 year olds.

After about 30 minutes Nancy got a fish on; she was not able to bring it to the net and voiced her disappointment. In another hour she really started whooping. I was a ways down the lake now so I thought she fell out of her seat again but as it turned out she had a 16 inch fish on and she got it to the net. She didn't sound 20 years old any longer; she sounded 12. So did George. They were like a couple of kids thrilled with catching a trout and thrilled with being alive. Nancy would catch another 16 inch fish a short time later.

Back at shore I visited with George. I said how much I appreciated that they were both having such a good time. George said that these were the first fish Nancy had ever caught. I asked if she had just started fishing with him and he said yes. To myself I wondered why she hadn't fished with him so many years ago. I asked how old he was and he said that he was 75 and Nancy was 70. If both Katy and I are alive, when I am 75 she and I will have been married 48 years.

I was right about the gray hair and right about them being old. I wasn't exactly right about something else. I asked how long they had been married and he said that they had only known each other for a year and a half and were just recently married. Sometimes the best part of fishing isn't the fishing. The best part of that evening was seeing young love and young hearts with people that had white hair. Inspiring. Yes, it was inspiring. "The heart that loves is always young."

An Old Friend Named Moccasin: Parts IV-VI still coming...

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