This is the time of the year that all columnists seem to write about the joys of giving. So, as I sat down to write this month’s column, I started thinking about what to say concerning giving. Then it dawned on me, for everybody that gives, somebody has to receive. And, this year, I was one of the getters. I got lots this year.
First and foremost, I got a new fly fishing buddy. Of course, it will be six or seven years before my new grandson is able to cast a fly with Grumps. The wait will be excruciating. I also had my ego stroked by having my new book, The Joys of Being a Fly Fishing Guide, published. It even sold a few copies.
Other neat stuff I got were the fly-fishing trips to places featuring white sand and salt water. I managed to go to Belize with my friend Sam, where we both hooked into permit. A family reunion held in the Cayman Islands produced bonefish for me, my son, and son-in-law. If you’re now thinking about saltwater fly-fishing, as you watch it snow, know that I am in the Bahamas chasing more bonefish. This getting stuff is really fun.
Two trips in Colorado gave me lots of fun and laughs. Sam and I made our way east to the New Mexico border just north of Taos. From this location we fished for two days, on private ranches, in Colorado. The trout were wild, big, and loved dry flies. We were also the only fishermen on the ranches. I wrote about the other trip to Colorado with my good friends from Texas. I still find myself laughing as I think of all the fun that came my way on that trip.
The fly-fishing safari to the Northeast, with my wife, was some of the most fun I had in 2015. Lots of fish, cell phones that didn’t work, a beautiful part of this country, great places to eat, and gracious hosts, made the gift of receiving really wonderful. Not to overlook Durango, my favorite place to fly fish, I was blessed with lots of opportunities for receiving.
The grand kids arrived to throw rocks in the stream and catch lots of fish in the pond. They also never missed a chance to remind Grumps how smart he was. Grandkids are the best. I also had two gentlemen from Texas who had paid money, at a non-profit auction, for the privilege to fish with me for three days. In addition to those two men, two others bought a one day trip from BigBrothersBigSisters to fish with me. Speaking of BBBS’s, they renewed their day of fishing, with me, for the Bigs and Littles. Being wanted is truly a great gift to receive.
So, what gifts will show up in 2016? I am hoping for fly-fishing trips that will keep me isolated from the political idiocy just now getting warmed up. Some of those trips will be to area lakes I have yet to fish, and east again to work on my quest to catch fish, with my fly rod, in all 50 states. I know another new body part, to make walking easier, is on the schedule. (I am the poster child for why people become orthopedic surgeons.)
While this year has been terrific in giving me lots of fun and great memories, it has also been filled with an incredible amount of sorrow in the news and in the loss of dear friends and a good fishing buddy. And there is the plain ole, ordinary, political stupidness. To make it even worse, there are lots more of it, pilled higher and deeper, heading our way. So, as 2015 draws to a close, I want to use my annual politically incorrect statement. (I only make one a year.)
“I wish everyone; Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah, a good Eid al-Adha, and of course, Merry Christmas. If none of these fits your beliefs, then may whatever touches your heart with hope be with you all of 2016.”