My great nephew, age 7, is intrigued by fishing. When my family camped on Mount Hood this summer, his mother never said "no" to one more walk to Timothy Lake with our fishing gear. We fished; she collected fishing weights found in the water by her youngest son.
Casting for trout from the banks of the lake, I thought of my father. He taught me to tie on a hook and to choose weights for the line. My husband taught me the art of returning the fish I caught to the water. I confess, letting a fish go was a hard lesson for me. I was taught to eat what I caught. But I’ve come to appreciate the idea of stretching the lip on the same fish over and over.
I watched trout jump to catch Caddis flies and my nephew cast with his second season year old pole. We caught rock fish, stick fish, Douglas fir branch fish, lake grass fish … none of the trout were disturbed by worms or PowerBait.
Crouching so my nephew could cast without hooking me, I realized Timothy Lake was an ideal setting inspiration for Cornerstone, the book I’m working on and will be available later in the fall. The steep hills with the boulders and fir trees became a mill site in my imagination and I could picture Cade Braedon and Silver St. Ives walking on the skid road winding through the forest.
I found my phone in the fishing tackle box and took pictures to put up on my monitor as I write for inspiration and to remember a day spent fishing (not catching) with a beloved nephew.