Not what I was thinking

Last summer I took my father in-law fishing down the Green River in Utah. IMG_5396He had never fished it and I was excited to take him. The Green below Flaming Gorge is easily one of the neatest rivers I have ever floated. The scenery is absolutely second to none. The water is as clear as an aquarium. Not many rivers you can float and see ten feet down to the bottom with twenty inch-plus fish sitting there. Contrast that with red canyon walls exceeding hundreds of feet above you makes for breath taking views. It’s also one of the most fished rivers in our state. IMG_5401My father in-law is one of the toughest hard working men I know. If you wanted a poster of a tough cowboy, he is the one you would take a picture of. To say he was a little out of his element would be an understatement. Now, I am not  saying fly fishermen can be a little snooty and  pretentious(yes I am). But on a river such as the Green there are certain unwritten rules about how to handle yourself and the fish. None of which he has ever heard of or seen. My Father in-law loves to fly fish and has fished his whole life with a fly rod. But he is more accustomed to riding his horse to the top of a mountain to fish a secluded lake, not a popular river where there are unwritten rules and etiquette.  So, after he caught a beautiful brown I wanted to get a pic of him holding it to remember the special day. After he got the fly out of the fishes mouth I asked him to hold it up. With no hesitation he puts his finger through the gills and holds it up.

IMG_5399IMG_5400

Shit! I have never taken a pic so fast. Thinking I might be able to save the fish from certain death I tell him to go ahead and release it. He turns towards the river and chucks it in! I think to myself, that fish is probably not going to make it. I had to chuckle a little as the boat across the river happened to see what just happened. I just shrugged my shoulders as they shook their heads. I couldn’t even blame him. He has never been shown how to handle a fish so the fish can have the best chance at surviving to be caught again, he has never read a fly fishing magazine, he has not seen the 10,000 pictures on Instagram of guys holding fish that I have. And he never will. And thats ok, the most important thing is I got to spend the day fishing with him, floating down one of the most beautiful places on earth…