Recently, my oldest son Gabriel and my only brother Jon were home from their far-away homes away from home. My youngest son Liam and his wife Elisabeth just had a baby boy. Even though we were not all in the same place at the same time for very long, the time we did have was precious.
Jon and Gabriel both share a passion for fly fishing. My son Liam is also fond of the pastime but as a new dad, his attentions are obviously redirected for the time being. Gabriel was only home for a few days and in order to try to meet as many agendas as possible, we tried to combine some activities. Essentially, we just wanted time together and wanted it to be fun and relaxing.
We carved out the better part of a day and my mother and I and Gabriel and Jon climbed into the car with picnic essentials and fly fishing gear. Gabriel wanted to hike up to The Flume, one of many White Mountain natural wonders, for old time’s sake and my Mom wanted to spend time with my brother and son. Jon relished the fishing opportunity and I was just happy to be with any and all of them.
We headed north to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We made a brief stop at Clark’s Trading Post so that Gabriel could stock up on some New Hampshire goodies to take back to his co-workers who had never tasted maple sugar. I know; it ought to be a crime…
Getting Ready to Hike the Trail
Anyway, The Flume has grown up a lot since I was a child. Now it is a full-sized rest area with a restaurant, a gift shop, lots of information, a mini museum and a trout pond. The guys were out of the car and wasting no time in reaching the entrance to the trail head when they were both stopped short by the site of the trout pond. Their eyes went dreamy at the size of those specimens. Eventually, they tore themselves away and were off and up the trail. My mom and I found comfortable sites, overlooking the wooded hillside and took out our reading material. We had some quality time while the guys were hiking. Gabriel took my camera and took the photos of the Flume trail included in this story, as I was not there to do so. (Thanks Gabriel, good job!)
When Jon and Gabriel came back, we all headed off to one of many convenient picnic areas and had a nice lunch while they shared the details of their adventure. As soon as lunch was packed up, off the guys went with fishing poles in hand, down into the ravine. Gabriel had a one day NH Fishing License and wanted to make the most of it. Jon believes in supporting the NH Fish and Game effort by buying the annual NH Fishing License as he is home 2-3 times a year on average and spends a lot of that time fishing. They both believe in the catch and release philosophy of fly fishing so they never bring any fish back. I imagine the fish are very grateful about this.
Jon and Gabriel explored several more riversides, roadside stream and tributary possibilities and anything else that might signify or lead to ‘trout water’, and came back from each mini adventure with another tale of air temperatures, water levels, fly hatches and the effect on the fish in that particular spot. Although my mom and I waited at the car for the guys, we felt almost as involved as if we’d been down there in the water, except our shoes didn’t squeak and squish at the end of the day.