Taking Hold (Part 6 of Michelle’s Series)

by Michelle Karl

This is the 6th post for Michelle’s blog series. Her previous SaraBella posts include, “Cancer, Set Me Free“, “Fuel For Growth“, “Floating Together“, “Just Love“ and “Seeking Water“. She has shared her insight about her 16 month battle with (against) stage 2 breast cancer as she adventures on a 3-week road/boat trip through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana & British Columbia — to fish, camp, explore, reflect, and rejoice. We hope you enjoy this post — about 2 weeks into her trip. We’re honored that Michelle is sharing her story with us, so we can share it with you!

My husband and I cannot get into a float boat without arguing. I do not know what the learning curve is on learning how to fly fish or teaching someone to fly fish but it seems to me that the learning curve is a slow and steady uphill.

Today we floated the Yellowstone. We continue to do some things better and still argue about others. What we did right today – we prepped the day before, we woke up early, and we were on the river by seven-ish.

The river was magnificent. The temperature was perfect. The sun was coming over the mountains. I started to row and I felt like I was getting the hang of it. The river was flowing faster than the last two rivers but it was wide open with no rapids or rocks. There were times that it felt like the boat was dancing on the water and I got to be the one who was leading. It was a peaceful meditative dance.

Then it went wrong. I can be a bad student; I will leave it at that. It isn’t that I do not want to learn, it is that it is not an easy thing to learn. Are there any other women who row out there? Did your husband try to teach you? Are you still happily married?

My husband took over the rowing half way through and my daughter started to fish the front of the boat. Right away she caught her first fish. She caught her second minutes latter. She was super happy. I decided to try my cast off the back, away from any watchful eyes. I watched as a fish came up and started to check out my dry fly, poking at it. Then he surfaced and took a big mouthful of fake fly. He was not big but he was really beautiful. He was a cutthroat trout; the red marking across his throat was clear, his stunning calling card.

The day as a whole was a win. The scenery was spectacular. I started to really enjoy the task of rowing and I held my first fish. Persistence is starting to pay off. I think the sport is starting to take hold of me.

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