As the first rays of summer dawn filtered through the trees near the Rocky Mountain town where I spent most of my childhood, almost every morning I was out the back door and on my way to my favorite fishing creek with beaver ponds or the rushing river just beyond. I still remember the extraordinary rush I felt, the excitement to discover what and how many fish I would catch that day.
The path led me through a cathedral of mountain pine, the hush of the forest a sharp contrast to the large family residing within my grandparents’ house. My boyhood fishing was an escape, my private playground. To some degree, fishing remains my escapism.
Back in the 1950s, cold mountain streams were filled with fish that were easy to catch. Grandma was always willing to fry my fish for supper, but first I had to clean them for her, a task I still take care of today when I bring my catch home to my wife. Only nowadays, I fry them, too.
I’m in my 70s now, and I continue to fish from the bank much like I did as a young boy in Colorado. I have been fortunate to go fishing in quite a few states, including Alaska and Hawaii. The exception to my usual bank fishing is having recently made two trips to Cozumel, Mexico, to deep sea fish and another to the Florida Keys.
Through the years, fishing has allowed me to lose myself, if only for a few hours. It is a relaxing sport, one not usually restricted by age, so I hope to continue for a very long time. For me, fishing has been a lifelong solace, a gentle, healing occupation.
Read more reader-submitted fishing stories in Great Fishing Stories and Tales.
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