The one that got away

I have managed to gain understanding, even clarity, in my share of the challenges life has thrown at me, women are not one of them. I have fished with lots of women I did not sleep with and a few I wished I could have. I have fished with lady guides, ladies who you could bum a chew off of and a few that could out fish me. Like the sport I love so much I learn something new about women everyday also. Don’t read too far into this, I know alot more about fish, bugs, water and boats than I will ever know about ladies. I have been in love 4 times in my short life and they all fished with me. For some reason I feel just stupid enough to write a little about how they have shaped me as a fishing bum. While I do want another one in my life, I have learned enough to be scared of WANT and to be careful for what I ask for

Ask any guide, and they will surely tell you that they prefer to guide women, they listen and learn better. I can agree, but fishing with a Sheila you are in love with is a tricky game. Sleep with one and then take her fly fishing and things change real fast! Once you have seen your fishing partner naked they start thinking with another part of their brain. “Move that rod tip in a straight line” starts to sound like "I wish you had bigger tits” in the mind of some women. It’s an emotional battle smart men can’t win. A simple fishing bum has no chance at all if his mind has wandered off to his favorite fishing hole when she wants to cuddle.

Ladies do indeed make great fishing companions, I have had my share, they just did not last. The first was a sexy little Greek Italian who did not try real hard once she realized her high heels would not fit in waders. It was the beginning of my adventure in this sport and real women. I had no chance at either in my 20’s. Both endeavors (fly fishing and a woman out of my league) were extremely fun even if I didn’t understand a lick of either. No pun intended. She was that giant fish in an impossible spot that I just could not leave alone. Once I landed her she was nothing like I imagined. Letting her swim away was easy.

I always had a tough time concentrating around my second love, Kitty. It was probably a combination of my over active mind in my young 30’s and the fact she was built better than any woman I’ve ever seen naked. She was the perfect mix of hippie and biker chick and smart to boot. I don’t remember her ever catching a fish with me because she was always in her favorite American flag colored bikini top. Her brother was one of the best fishermen I have ever been around. He had a homemade wooden drifty, a deep hate for fishing guides and a place on the West Branch of the Delaware. Three tricky places I haven’t been in a while. I ended up breaking her off. Not sure if I put to much pressure on her or I just didn’t have enough rod for the battle.

Once in awhile a man is ready to listen to what ever a chick wants to talk him into, you all know why. Little J, all 4-10 of her was never scared of adventure and at that time in my life she helped to push me out of my comfort zone. Roscoe, Lake Placid, Spruce Creek, The Gunpowder, Yellowstone and every puddle in between became our play ground. Little J was the first woman to have the power to talk me out of working and into a fishing trip. She also taught me not to keep score. I often wonder about her and if she has ever put a rod back in her tiny hand. One day as we crossed some drainage ditch in "back woods southern NY", She caught me looking at the tiny trickle and asked “do you think about trout every time you cross water?” Was it a shot at my responsibility gene? Was I ever going to grow up and think about the important things in life? I don't remember answering, but I can admit now that I do. Little J is the one that got away. I was young and dumb and convinced myself there was another great catch in the next riffle I would float over. I was wrong about that.

There is one more. As significant as she has been for my passion (fly fishing) and my anxiety (women) she is not worth mentioning. It (she) did however give me my only lifelong client (Sam), thank god he is a boy. If you take the big bright bugs off your rig and get your junk off the bottom, you will realize how much a good trout stream or life has to offer. She was my Whitefish.

In the end it seems I understand dogs and fish better than women without ever hearing a word from either. Mixing a passion with a women is a temporary thing unless your passion is Ballroom dancing. Having to ask permission to partake in an activity you love is tiresome and it's inevitable she will feel like it's more important than her. Chasing strippers behind their back seems alot easier now that I'm old.


  1. Bob,

    That was great and worth the wait. You are a great writer. I almost spit my cappuccino this morning laughing


  2. Wise words brotha, wise words!!!

  3. Great read. I've been married 15 years and I am still learning. =)

    The Average Joe Fisherman