My friend Grahm is a cowboy that’s been stuck in a city for most of his life. In May he left Colorado for Montana, to work on a cattle ranch.
He passed through town this weekend, and I got to spend a couple of hours with him, cutting his hair, then eating some Chipotle (he had had Chipotle the night before, but was so excited that I had suggested it, Montana seems to be lacking in Chipotles).
I got to listen to him talk about all that he learned in Montana this summer about cattle and how to care for them. He talked about the way that being in the wide open spaces feeds his soul. It was a great chat.
My favorite part, though, was him talking about the fishing up there. He was in great fly-fishing country, and he is a passionate fly-fisherman. I used to know one of those.
I asked him to tell me about the biggest fish that he caught. He told me that the fish he was catching weren’t that big…. So I told him to tell me about the biggest fight. He used words like “tail water,” and “riffle.” He had used a “streamer” rather than “nymphing or dry flies.” Just the words were so familiar to me, but it seems like it had been so long since I had heard them spoken with such passion. It was like listening to my favorite song. I had to swallow hard against the lump in my throat.
Sawan used to talk about fly-fishing so much that I remember a specific time, after him giving me a forty-five minute college-style lecture about “flows” (it’s something to do with people controlling how much water goes from the reservoirs to the rivers) that I knew my eyes had glazed over and I thought, “Oh my god. I’m going to have to listen to this for the rest of my life.” If only.
Now I long to hear fishing stories because they remind me of my love. Thanks, Grahm, for "playing my song" for me. It was a delightful evening.