The Irony Of Residency

I was visiting with an old fishing friend recently, on the eve of his departure from Yellowstone. He’d spent two fruitful weeks here but was wishing for a few more. He allowed as to how more time would enable him to fish casually, eliminating the day to day rush required to fish all the waters on his agenda. I replied that his sentiments were common, shared by most visiting anglers. Then I opined that despite the amount of time residency would provide, his feelings were unlikely to change. This, I think, came as a surprise.

But it’s true. All the serious resident anglers that I know feel short on time. Days and weeks and seasons pass far too quickly. No, strike that—years pass far too quickly. Even measuring in years, we can’t escape the feeling of not having enough time. There is simply too much fishing to be had here.

One thing that happens with residency is that you amass a large inventory of waters that you know well and want to fish every year. Fishing through a long list takes a serious amount of time, even if you visit each place only once a year. (And that doesn’t account for the unexpected situations that arise every season—like the fantastic hatch of Pale Morning Duns this year on the Madison in the Park. I personally spent two weeks there.) So no matter how much time you have, invariably you feel as though it’s not enough. Many are the days I wish I could be in several places at once.

By way of consolation, I offered these thoughts to my friend. I figured that if I could show him that residents suffer the same feelings he does as a visitor, perhaps the pain of his departure would be eased.

It didn’t work. He still believes that more time here is the key to satiating his fishing urge. Maybe it is. But if he’s anything like those of us who live here, I don’t like his chances.




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