On a recent fly fishing trip, I had the privilege of fishing with Rebecca Garlock aka: "The Outdooress". I will tell you one thing...what you see, is what you get, with Rebecca! No artificial anything added with this outdoor enthusiast. And those are the type of people I like to hang out with! She will be the first to tell you that she doesn't have a special technique or go by a set of rules when she is on the water. She has her own style and grace that is unique. (We will forgive the one moment above that wasn't all that graceful!!) I will admit one thing now...I am a better photographer than a fly fisher...Everything seems very “natural” for Rebecca when it comes to fly fishing. From the gearing up for the journey to choosing the right fly to use. Then, as she makes her way towards the middle of the river (where I like to hang out too)…her graceful casts are simply amazing. I have had to work very hard on my casting, so this was fun watching someone that could do it so effortlessly! She just kind of takes it all in stride, very relaxed. And that, my friends, is what makes a great fly fisher…getting to the point of it being second nature to you.
Rebecca and I had a few things in common, which made the trip even more fun. We are both die-hards. If there is an obstruction of some type to get us off course...we find a way to work with it. Example...The famous leaky waders! Yes, they were leaking...but, like a true camper that she is, she just went ahead and fished while her foot inside the wader felt like it was stuck in a fishbowl of water! It was all good. We had a few laughs about that. Comfort isn't always an option.
We were fortunate to find a perfect campsite alongside the river bank. As we set up camp, we met some visitors from out of state who were discouraged about their day thus far. Rebecca quickly opened up the back of her truck, got out her fly boxes and gave them some helpful advice. They were a little surprised that she would take the time to help...but that is who she is. Rebecca loves sharing her knowledge and excitement for fly fishing with others so that they too will have a journey to remember. These two guys left with smiles and hopes of having better luck after chatting with her. And it always gives karma to the giver, you know! It's all good.
One of my friends was an experienced cook. After hearing that Rebecca can live off of Snicker bars and Diet Coke, I figured that a little extra nourishment wouldn't hurt. : ) I think that she was a little surprised with the menu each day. Breakfast was my favorite...banana pancakes, sausage, eggs, and juice. Then, we brought on the three layer pastrami and swiss sandwiches for lunch. And to cap off a perfect day of extreme fishing, we all gathered around the campfire and had a dutch oven casserole and pineapple upside down cake.....yummy!
A perfect ending to an awesome day on the river...oh wait! It wasn't quite over yet! Did I say that this was my first real camping experience? And yes, I got an initiation...After I snuggled into my sleeping bag; there was this constant rustling in the brush outside of my tent. Everyone was sleeping in their vehicles, except for me....and I was starting to think that they had the right idea. After awhile, I just couldn't sleep until I found out what was making this scratchy noise! Was it a raccoon, opossum, or a rabbit? I decided to move my bedding to the middle of the tent. I laid back down and looked at the amazing view of the stars through the netting of the tent. But, that could not calm me. Ok...that was it. Whatever was making this irritating noise with its feet was going to be found out! I turned on the flashlight and moved the light around the bottom of the tent to make sure there wasn't something inside with me. There was a large rock in each corner of the tent. As I flashed the light on the corner where my head used to be...up sprang this little head with big dark eyes looking at me! Yes, out came the scream! It didn't scare the mouse though...he proceeded to jump up on the top of the rock and do this little jig of a dance...I'm not kidding! I couldn't believe it...he then stood up on two legs and posed like he wanted me to take a picture! A real character. Help came quickly and we returned him to his home in the fields away from my tent. I can't wait to go camping again!! (Honestly, I am going to get a pop-up trailer!)
Take a look at my favorite fish on the trip. This is why I will be back!
All in all, it was an awesome couple of days. Plenty of fish, good eats, some awesome scenery, mice dancing on rocks, and a midge hook caught in the cook's lip (did I say that Rebecca is also an excellent emergency surgeon? She will deny that acclaim... :0 But, she is!) Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing your time and talents with us...we couldn't have asked for a better guide and compadre!