On the Fly: Memorial to a good fishing dog
Over the years, I’ve had many fishing partners. Some come and go. Others stick around and become part of my normal weekly fishing routine.
My favorite partner always arrives early and stays late. He doesn’t talk about politics or work, never gets upset if I forget his birthday, doesn’t “high-hole” me while I’m stalking a rising fish and won’t complain about the weather or the food. Most importantly, he’s always happy to go fishing. My favorite fishing partner for the past 15 years was my dog Trico.
Trico was named after a particular hatch of tiny, white-winged, black-bodied mayflies that represents the ultimate in light-tackle, dry fly, fly fishing. My dog was also tri-colored (white and black with a touch of brown), so it seemed like a fitting name.
He was a rescue shelter dog that came to me as a puppy, complete with a cast on one of his front legs from jumping out of an ex-wife’s pickup truck. Though the marriage didn’t last, my favorite fishing partner did, up until his passing just a few weeks ago. I half-heartedly joke that he was my first born since my daughter, now 12, is three years his junior.
After cancer sadly consumed Trico, I had to make the tough choice of putting him down. As he took his last breath while laying his head on my lap for the last time, I took a small clump of his black and white hair and neatly put it in an empty fly cup. I went home to cry. While doing so, I hatched a plan to celebrate his life.
I sat at my fly tying vise, eyes full of tears, and slowly and lovingly tied four size 22 Trico Spinners from my dog Trico’s hair.
Of all the places and states and streams that we fished together over the past fifteen years, the Roaring Fork River at Independence Pass was his spot.
I loaded a small 3-weight fly rod in my truck and set off to go fish the Pass one last time together, this time in spirit. I threaded one of my Trico spinners, got my feet wet and proceeded to land a beautiful six inch brook trout on my fourth cast; mission complete.
Fishing partners come and go, but none knew me better or complained less than my friend Trico. God bless good fishing dogs!
This column is provided weekly by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4370, or on the Web at http://www.taylorcreek.com.
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New hiking and biking trail at Sutey Ranch could ease pressure at main Red Hill trailhead later this summer.