Gone Fishin’

Today marks the beginning of Dave’s first sabbatical adventure: a ten-day fly fishing trip from California to Montana and back with C22 and a friend.

He learned to fly fish as a child but didn’t have much chance to practice until a few years ago when he began organizing an annual trip for men in our church. That led to occasional one- and two-day trips with a friend or two. During the pandemic, when in-person church programming came to a screeching halt, he was able to slip away on non-meeting days to hit the river more often; sometimes he was on the road before sunrise and returned late at night just to spend most of the day fishing. Necessarily outdoors and socially-distance, it was one of the safest ways to break out of the everyday sameness.

In February he decided to learn to tie his own flies, as his grandfather had done before him. He started watching YouTube videos, he ordered more craft supplies in months than I have in years, he even once plucked feathers off a fresh turkey roadkill (gross, I know, but he washed well and the feathers are pretty…). He designed his own workstation set-up with a vice to clamp it to his desk and another vice to hold the teensy-tiny beads and ribbons and what-nots that become his intricate creations.

He told me recently that he thinks he’s making flies for a few cents each, so even though he’s buying supplies, he’s spending less than he would if he had to purchase the flies. We got a fly fishing catalogue in the mail and I was shocked: a set of six flies for $50? Maybe he should start selling them!

After his last day trip, he happily reported that every fish he caught he did so using one of his own flies. His hobby that supports his hobby is providing layers of satisfaction.

If you’re the praying type, keep Dave, Corban, and Mike in your prayers. It’s a long drive, and the forecast predicts up to a few inches of snow … and they’ll be camping for some of the trip. Of course we want to keep them safe, and also enjoying long, in-depth conversations and making wonderful memories. After all, rest and refreshment are essential to the purpose of a sabbatical.

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