Saturday, April 18, 2009
Lloyd's Big Haul
Sometimes when things just aren't going your way, an old memory sustains you. I thought of this one today and started laughing. I ran across "Lloyd" on the banks of the Poudre River on a more carefree day about a year ago. I hope it brings a smile to your face.
I finished what I can only call a functional lunch. Ham sandwich with a slice of Swiss cheese. I sat in my camp chair, tuned into some talk radio, opened a book, and promptly got lost in my own head.
“Hi!” A rotund, enthusiastic boy, probably 10 years old, approached my camp site and interrupted my thoughts with a very serious look on his face and a small fishing vest strapped over his shoulders. “What are they bitin’ on?”
I smiled. “They’re not bitin’ on anything, buddy! I’ve tried every fly in my box.”
The boy threw his hand out to me, still with a serious look on his face. “My name’s Lloyd. I’m goin’ fishing here. Dad told me to ask you what they’re bitin’ on. I caught a rainbow up at Kelly Flats.” We shook hands. Lloyd was taking all of this very seriously, so much so that I was having a hard time containing laughter. Lloyd shook hands like a man. Small little hand, but firm grip. He must have a dad who taught him how to shake hands.
I smiled even bigger this time. “Hi Lloyd, my name’s John. I wonder if I should try that spot?”
“Nah. I already caught everything up there.” Lloyd still hadn’t cracked a smile. He was all about business. “I caught them on a Panther Martin.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell Lloyd that he was using artificial lures on water that I’m fairly certain is restricted to flies.
“Well, let me know if you catch anything.” I secretly hoped that Lloyd would catch a huge trout. I was halfway tempted to get my waders on and go back out with him, but I was enjoying the sun and a good book. I decided that Lloyd should go it alone. He didn’t seem like the type of kid that wanted an adult hovering over him anyway.
I later returned to the river by myself, again trying every fly in my box. Nothing. I casted upstream, mended left, tended my line, mended right…nothing.
I decided it was time for a fire. I settled back into my camp chair, mesmerized by roaring flames and a brilliant sunset.
“Hey John!” The cry came out with the joy that only a 10 year-old could muster. “Check this out!”
I lifted my head up from my book. Lloyd had a gigantic grin on his face as he held up a tiny, six-inch rainbow.
“Way to go Lloyd! You’re a real fisherman! I didn‘t catch anything!”
Lloyd suddenly got serious again, and looked at me with empathy, apparently concerned about my self-esteem. “Keep trying, John. You’ll catch something soon.“ I wondered whether to be offended or to just laugh. I decided on the latter.
Lloyd swaggered back to his parents.
What a cool kid.