February 21st, 2005
The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .
By Ailsa McIntosh (SheTies),British Columbia
As a country girl growing up on acreage
I was what you would call a typical tomboy.
Catching frogs and raising tadpoles was one
of the more popular activities at that time.
My friends and I embarked upon countless
adventures around our neighbourhood. We would
trek to the lake just down the road by racing
through the forest surrounding our houses. The
local deer wore trails through the ferns and
trees and we used them to navigate our way
through the drooping evergreen branches. After
spotting some "bear brownies" on one of our
favourite paths we decided to stop using the
One of our favourite destinations was a creek
only about half a kilometre away from my house.
With dirty knobby knees we would climb onto
our bikes and ride the short distance to the
creek. My best friend at the time had those
little plastic beads on her spokes and we
provoked an old dog to bark every time we
road by, without fail, with the metallic
clanking of her bike. When we arrived at
the creek we would slam on our brakes to
see who could skid the farthest while
spewing up dust and pebbles with childish
In order to get to the creek we clambered
down a steep rocky slope, grasping small
saplings in an effort to control our rate
of descent with our hands smelling of moss
and sticky with tree sap we would pause
victoriously and look back up the hill to
the road where we had hidden our bikes.
Triumphantly walking away along the damp
spongy ground we travelled the short distance
to the creek under the heavy canopy of trees.
There was one ancient stump stubbornly standing
it's ground against the unrelenting assault of
time. A thick shroud of moss embraced the stump
as droplets of dew sparkled in an extravagant
dance with the sunlight winking down through
the trees. A few small, glossy orange-capped
mushrooms snacked voraciously on the slowly
decomposing wood. The air was always thick
with the pungent smell of the damp leaves,
moss and earth. Dark leathery ferns added
their own heavy musk to the perfume of the
At the road there is a large culvert, about
twenty feet in diameter, that attempts to
control the grinding effects of the creek
on the roadbed. Dark creek water surges
through the culvert and splashes down into
the large pool we used to swim in as children.
Crayfish would sway menacingly in an effort
to discourage us from plucking them from the
sanctuary of their various nooks and crannies.
There aren't a lot of fish in that particular
pond but the occasional trout would rise to
take little red and black ants that had fallen
from the branches that reached down to tickle
the waters surface. Lazy ripples would extend
their embrace outwards after a trout gently
sipped an insect from the grip of the surface
It had been a couple of years since my
last visit to my old childhood hide-out.
I'm not sure how many more times I will
risk life and limb clambering my way down
that rock slope, but I have no plans on
stopping yet. I don't go there to fish!
I go there to relax; throw pebbles into
the water; to listen to the forest breathe.
Sometimes we can get consumed by our pursuit
of fish and take our surroundings for granted.
Fishing can take us to amazingly beautiful
locales; try to make sure you experience
the location not just the fishing it has
to offer. ~ Ailsa McIntosh (SheTies)
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