I have always enjoyed fishing for trout in small streams and creeks. It was at one such place in southwest Alberta, where as a young teenager, I was introduced to fly-fishing while on a school camping trip. Within a week or two of returning home, I became the proud owner of a brand new fly rod.
My equipment consisted of an Open Road fiberglass fly rod outfit, purchased for me by my parents at a Woolco department store, where my mother worked. I can still picture myself hunched over in the back of our packed station wagon, winding the long length of fly line onto the reel while heading out on a camping trip to Waterton Park with my family. I had just completed ninth grade and it was the beginning of my summer vacation. The two months that followed would be filled with one fly-fishing adventure after another.
The photo at the top is from a postcard that dates to the early 1970s, about the time I started fly-fishing. I like it because it reminds me of the stream where I experienced this sport for the first time.
It’s been more than four decades since I last fished the stream of my youth. Despite my long absence, I have not forgotten the countless days I spent walking along its rocky, cobble-lined banks and wading its ice-cold waters in blue jeans and sneakers. I would cast my crudely-tied Tom Thumb dry flies into its crystal-clear pools and watch colorful 10-inch cutthroats rise eagerly to them. Once in a while, a 14-incher, a trophy, would come to hand. I have great memories of fishing here with family and friends and hope to return to this special place in the near future – if only to see whether it remembers me. When I go, I’ll be sure to bring some of my crudely-tied Tom Thumbs.
Click on the photo of the Tom Thumb fly below to read about my return visit to the stream of my youth.
Article References & Credits
Postcard – Anticipating Supper