June 3rd, 2002

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

Avoiding Divorce
By Don Cianca (Uncle Don)

I happened to be thinking about an old piece of cross-stitching that read: "Ve get too soon old, unt too late schmart"

Getting old has not come easy for me. Like most folks who make it into their sixties, the aches and pains become part of every day. A few trips to the operating room are thrown in and we continue to plug along. Hopefully, we learn a few things along the way. If you are reading this then you have an interest in flyfishing. I'm going to share something I learned that might help a husband avoid a divorce.

My wife, Mary Ann and I had some Delta Senior Flight Coupons that were about to expire. Therefore, before the end of this last April, we planned a short trip to Lee's Ferry in Arizona. Flying on Delta's system, we were able to get from Butte Montana to Saint George, Utah. From Saint George, we rented a car and took in the scenery along the way. I used the Internet to arrange for a guide and was a little concerned since I knew nothing about him. In past fishing trips where my wife joined me, the destinations were always where there was warm water and white sandy beaches. Of course, conditions at Lee's Ferry require something much more than a bathing suit and sunscreen. I showed my wife some of the photos that appeared on websites that dealt with the area. To my surprise, she said she would consider fishing too! Not since our children were just entering their teens did she even attempt to use a flyrod. Never the less, I packed an extra rod and reel and loaded almost a hundred newly tied flies in a box for her.

Here is where my age paid off. I have learned that husbands who try to teach their wives to flycast become clients of divorce lawyers. A fisherman's wife will learn best if she is taught by someone else, not her husband. So upon our arrival at the boat ramp where we were to meet our guide Mike Ritz, I asked him to devote his time instructing my wife. He told me he understood and once we reached our first fishing spot, he took charge and when I went off on my own, he began his tutoring. We were separated by about a hundred yards. I would turn my head to look over to the teacher and student and found myself smiling as I saw my wife hunched over, mending line and looking like an old pro. We changed spots a few times and each time Mike was beside my wife in his coaching position. As the day progressed however, I would see him using his landing net on one of the pretty Colorado River Rainbows. Not only was my wife looking like a pro, she was catching fish like a pro.

Our two days there ended too quickly. On our first day, my wife caught twice as many fish as I did. On the second day, she landed a 21- inch Rainbow and I could only stretch 19 inches from my biggest. The fishing results were good, but we lucked out and had a wonderful guide who not only taught my wife to handle a flyrod like a pro, but had her heading home wanting to fish again.

Dare I say "I got old, unt schmart too?" In addition, it looks like we will celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary this coming winter. ~ Don Cianca


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