Then & Now

Photos By: Justin Dobson     

I’ve fished nearly my whole life, much of those memories are some of the best of my childhood.  And as memorable as the fish I caught are the people I fished with.  As I have grown older, my idea of a fishing buddy has evolved somewhat drastically.  I’m not saying I didn’t like the friends I fished with as a kid, it’s just I never came to fully appreciate their value until I got older.  I vividly remember literally racing or fighting friends for the “good spots”, or separating for the day and not catching back up until the end of the day to brag (or fib) about the number or size of fish you had caught.  The goal was to show up your friend.  Winning and losing meant alot.

My love for this sport continues to grow even after all these years, and I now cherish my fishing pals like family that all share the same love of this sport.  Although we all lead very different lives and separately have much going on, we always find time to fish, or at minimum talk about fishing.  There are no more races, only great pleasure in seeing your friend catch a fish.  I take just as much pleasure now in netting someone’s fish as I would have if I caught it myself.  We stick closer together now.  At least within ears shot to provide a net, an extra fly or even half of my sandwich if you forgot yours.

This appreciation became very apparent to me this weekend.  When it was pouring rain all day, a rising muddy stream, and we were soaking wet and cold.  We stayed out way later than we should have, well past when the fish quit biting.  Just to bullshit and be around each other doing the thing we all love to do.