I fly fish alone the majority of the time…..now, now, don’t feel bad for me. I consider my solitary fly flinging excursions a result of natural selection and been there, done that. Apart from going with a few select individuals, a few predictable fly buddies, I’ve found fly fishing is on par with a trip to heaven and I see no need to drag a few potential sinners along to tempt the water gods. (again, been there, done that)
However, I do have one very predictable and always loyal fishing companion and she is the El Dog. Also known as Bandon. A sweet tempered Golden Retriever who is my constant shadow.
Bandon wasn’t acquired to play the part of constant fishing companion, no, not at all. She was purchased to be a reliable duck/goose hunting dog but despite her neurotic fetching addiction, a duck or goose is completely beneath her girly tastes. Essentially, the dog wouldn’t touch anything with a feather even if you slathered it with bacon grease and stapled a lamb chop to it. No freaking way she declared as she stuck her nose in the air and pranced back to my side during many (many MANY) feeble training sessions.
Going fishing however, was right up her alley. Because she’s so girly, and polite, with a set of impeccable dog manners, she’s never, ever, a pain on the river. She’s content to stand chest deep in the river with a stick in her jaws for hours waiting for her big chance to fetch something. She doesn’t move an inch towards random people as they walk by and other dogs are irrelevant nuisances she sometimes encounters but typically won’t give them the time of day. She’s got me in her line of sight and that’s the only thing that seems to matters in her world.
I have come to the conclusion that once a decision to go fishing has been made, we humans must give off a certain excited aroma or aura that only dogs….or maybe it’s just my dog…..can pick up on. The moment I decide to go fishing, without saying anything, without even going to the closet to get my gear, Bandon picks up on the ”going fishing” scent and darts to the front door, guard style, as if to remind me that if I am going fishing it would be blasphemy, a true mortal sin of dog ownership, if I left her home. Because she knows that’s exactly what my plans are.
This is a good time to mention that my darling timid companion is also terrified of cameras, so the odds of ever taking a decent picture of her and posting it is slim at best. I think I have 2, maybe 3 where she didn’t have a chance to twist her head sideways. It seems at some point in time she deemed the camera her version of potential ‘death by looking’, a Medusa like contraption that will turn her into instant stone if she looks directly at one. Maybe that will change as we continue with, “project desensitize Bandon to the camera” but so far the therapy isn’t working.
For many, many years I simply went fishing by myself, but now that I have Bandon, I can’t imagine not taking her. She’s excited for me when I catch a fish and always there to encourage me along. Now if only she could learn how to collaborate my claimed fish stories I’d be doing good.