Monday, May 25, 2009

How Fly Fishing Saved My Marriage

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Amber's Fly Fishing Experience:

Here is a sad - but true - story:

Jason and Amber had been married for 5 years. Jason was a golf nut and Amber absolutely hated golf. She was getting upset about all the time Jason spent golfing. And now, Jason had taken up fly-fishing. His golf clubs gathering dust in the garage, Jason had enrobed himself with the latest in fly fishing clothing and armored himself with the finest gear. Amber was really interested in learning how to fly-fish and thought this would be a great opportunity for them to quality time together. They were even planning a special trip in the fall to fish the legendary waters of Montana.

So, Jason and Amber purchased equipment for her and headed off to a lake two hours drive away to teach Amber the finer points of fly fishing.

It was a beautiful day for fly fishing: chilly, overcast with an occasional cold drizzle - the kind of day fish love and ladies despise.

Jason started to show Amber the "four count rhythm" he had learned from A River Runs through It. Trying as best she could, Amber couldn't seem to make it work right. Valiantly keeping at it, she tried again and again but her line would either snag the back cast or pile in front of her like a large pile of limp, green spaghetti. This was accompanied by Jason's rising frustration.

The ensuing argument seemed inevitable - the rising tones of anger, the misconstrued meanings and finally, icy silence was about to separate the two, now frustrated and angered opponents - when, rocketing up like a submarine launched cruise missile, a very large cutthroat trout lept from the waters surface. It was enormous! It was the largest fish Jason had ever seen and larger than anything Amber would have even imagined inhabited this, or any other, body of water. Even in the muted, dismal afternoon, its colors shown as if it had been enameled and jeweled like a Faberge egg created for the Czarina. And, affixed to its toothy maw, was Amber's fly.

The fish, now re-entered the lake making the water erupt like a fat kid doing his favorite cannon ball into the swimming pool.

The pile of spaghetti slowly began to move toward the murky depth as the fish end of the fly line rocketed away as if shot by a crossbow. Amber stood frozen as Jason started to babble instructions,sounding like a cleric calling for prayer. By some mystery (probably a manifestation of string theory) the spaghetti pile disappeared, the line tightened and Amber's reel began to sing. She stood motionless and, hearing Jason's incoherent expletives, some of the meaning began to work its way into Amber's consciousness. She was not only stung by the vindictive nature of the tirade, but also offended by the verbiage and - even more hurtful - the language. She looked at Jason as if he had just landed from Planet Vulcan. Realizing that he had crossed some verbal boundary and ventured into the no man's land of female indignation - he suddenly stopped.

The scene was now supremely silent and the ashen sky was a mirror of their ashen expressions. Amber and Jason looked at each other,as an icy wind began to blow between them. Suddenly, the silence was ruptured by a sound. It was a quite sound but resounded with all the violence and portent of a grenade:


The drive home was a mere foreshadowing of the ensuing arguments and recriminations. Amber and Jason's love, which once shone as bright as the cutthroat's crimson neck wear, now seemed as gloomy as the sallow skies that had accompanied them on that eventful day.

Jason no longer golfed or went fly fishing - instead he began drinking - and Amber wondered what happened to the gallant knight she had married.

Nonetheless, there is a happy ending to this story.

In the interest of brevity, we shall simply say that it took professional counseling and training to root out the deep seated emotions and disappointments.

And, in the end, Trophy Trout School ...well...we really don't know if it saved the marriage but; the last we heard from Amber, she still takes pride in being able to out double-haul her husband. And Jason; proud husband, felt that each trophy caught and released, was never more worthy of admiration, or as beautiful, as his fly-fishing wife; Amber.

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Fenwick Fleigenbinder

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