Dear Mountain Mama,

My husband works all week. When the weekend rolls around, all he wants to do is go fly fishing. Before we got married, we used to go camping and hiking together. Now he fishes too much – can you help?

Thanks,

Fishing Widow

Dear Fishing Widow,

Ever since I moved here two years ago, I’ve wondered why anyone would stand in cold water for hours on end only to release any fish caught. The look of utter contentment on any fly fisher’s face bewildered me even more.

When a friend offered to take my fishing, it wasn’t the fish that excited me. Rather, the opportunity to see why he was so hooked on the river is what made me give up a Saturday afternoon to stand in the cold water beside him.

It took seeing a trout move through the cold water, with a rod in hand to understand the magical river world fly fishers visit. Stepping into a river with waders on transforms a person. Fly fishing required me to become part of the river environment, anticipating a fish’s every movement. I started to notice individual fish, their habits and preferences.

For that afternoon, casting was the start of a courtship based on a great respect for the river and love of trout. Hours passed without me thinking to look at my watch. I was entirely consumed with the where I was at that moment.

Fishing Widow, the saying “if you can’t beat them, join them” seems applicable here. Have you ever given fly fishing a chance? Now I’m not proposing that you tag along with your fishing-obsessed husband next weekend. There’s no surer path to marital mishap than one spouse trying to teach another spouse anything, much less something as complicated as fly fishing.

But what about going fly fishing with other fishing widows? There’s an international program called Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) where women of all ages, from all weekends come together for a weekend and learn outdoor skills, including fishing.

So Fishing Widow, grab your waders and go get your fly on! Before you know it, you and your husband may be planning fly fishing camping trips.

Yours,

Mountain Mama

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