Quite a few years ago I learned a secret about fishing. The secret is that fish just don’t care if it rains. Now we have all joked from time to time that fish live in the water and therefore they are already wet. For me this joke is heard when the rain starts as I am standing on a mossy bank, casting a rooster tail into a slow-moving stream. Unlike most fishermen, I have a true tale to back up my joke.
It was quite a few years ago when my Dad, Uncle Fred, my Cousin Freddie, and I were fishing some of the creeks and streams of Eastern Oregon. It had been overcast, yet warm for much of the morning. The bite was fair, but nothing much to brag about. We would work a stream for a bit, then hop in our trucks and head up the road to the next spot. The company was of course good. There is something about being out in beautiful terrain, working a stream in total peace with occasional good conversation mixed in that makes fishing more enjoyable.
My Uncle Fred and Cousin Freddie decided to move up ahead a couple of streams. The clouds were starting to get darker and they had a hole they just had to try. Dad and I stayed a bit longer at the stream we were fishing. After a few bites, we decided to move up to the next creek. No sooner did we start driving down the road, than the clouds decided to let loose. It rained. It rained hard. In fact, it seemed that the closer we got to our destination, the harder it rained. When we arrived at our stream, we looked at one another as if daring the other to get out of the truck first.
It poured. As it continued to rain, we just looked out the windows of the truck at the creek running by the roadway. Not much time went by before the decision was made that it was not going to stop raining. My Dad said we would head home as soon as Fred and Freddie drove up. I muttered my agreement, though a bit disgusted that the rain wouldn’t break enough to allow me to fish one last stream.
After a couple of minutes, I had enough of this watching the water flow in the creek and on by the passenger window of our yellow Chevy Luv. “I just know there’s a fish in there waiting to be caught,” I said. My Dad said with a smile, that I could always go out and try. I assured him I wasn’t that desperate or stupid. No raingear, no standing in a solid downpour. Yet I did have an idea. I rolled down my window and managed to get my seven-foot pole out of the cab of the truck. Dad was shifting as quickly as he could to avoid getting hit in the head with the butt of my pole. It should be apparent by this point that I was indeed desperate.
After a few tries, I flicked a crawler out into the water. “Get ready for some fish,” I said. Seconds later it was fish on! Well, it took Dad rolling down his window and my pulling the rod on through the cab of the truck to bring that Rainbow in. The whole time we just laughed and laughed. It was one of the best fishing trips I can remember. One of the best because of the good laugh Dad and I had together. And because of the valuable lesson, I learned. Fish just don’t care.
Image: Photo by Sticker Mule