July 26th, 2010

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The Days of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Young people need models, not critics

-John Wooden

Remember when the days of summer were as long as the season itself? Carefree days between grades of school?  The days before jobs, mortgages, and other pressures stole the wonder from the world?

A break from fly fishing

Streamside PB&J

Those were the days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I had a chance to revisit them over the past weekend with my son and his friend, both 9 years old.

We hiked along streams in the name of searching for wild trout on the fly. We found much more than that.

We saw tarantulas running into their den. Wild horses mobbed the car like groupies at a rock concert. We got soaking wet every day by heavy rain and splashed in the puddles.  Exploring an old abandon ranch headquarters of decrepit stone and log buildings, we collected rusting and rustic artifacts.

Skipping stones. Climbing over and under standing fences and downed trees. Gathering wildflowers and smashing plate-sized mushrooms. Beating logs with sticks. Chasing frogs, watching birds, catching grasshoppers. We did it all.

Oh yeah, occasionally we fished too.

Dapping a Fly on an Escudilla stream

Dapping a fly

We kept it simple. A large bushy dry, sometimes with a midge or nymph dropper will fool most wild fish if you can stay hidden enough.

In all, we fished four streams- three of the Black River and one of the Little Colorado drainages. Each held their own wonders, not the least of which was trout. We covered a few miles, but there were so many distractions from the task we covered fewer than I had planned in my narrow adult mind.

Each day, we had a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

I had forgotten how good they taste – maybe it was the air,  but more likely it was everything else.

I think I’ll have one now. As soon as I am done catching grasshoppers.

Apache-Rainbow Hybrid Escudilla

An exciting distraction