In my opinion every great fly fishing career starts with a double surgeons knot. Both ends through the loop and you’re essentially on your way. I learned my double surgeons about one summer ago. A family vacation to Montana spurred the urge to learn how to fly fish and in the year since then the unrelenting urge to feel a trout tighten my line has taken me all over the place, and then back again. I hooked up to a stubborn little rainbow on the Big Hole in Melrose, Montana and prayed that my newly learned double surgeons would hold on. That littler sucker didn’t know it but he hooked me more than the other way around. I spent an entire semester of college researching tail waters to fish over Christmas break and learned that mysis shrimp equal big fish. On Christmas morning I was no longer a rod renter when I unwrapped that slightly used Winston. I strung it up right then and there, then went out and whistled some casts into the snow. My Grandma bought me a fly-tying kit, DVD included, so I whipped up a few San Juan worms before christmas dinner. I convinced my dad that Alcolva, Wyoming is beautiful in mid December and we were the only drift boats on Gray’s Reef that day. Landed my first big bow when he decided to sample the purple size 22 Mcgruber and the new Winston brought him home. Then I found out how hard fly fishing really is. The outlets section of the Blue river humbled me, a lot. I found out how to take a shut out, I got pretty good at it actually. Started to loose faith that fish even ate flies anymore. I raked up more shut outs in one season than Nolan Ryan ever did. I learned the true meaning of persistence. I passed on Panama City, Florida for spring break and opted for Deckers, Colorado. I finally broke the streak and landed a 10 inch browny, damn it felt good. Over Easter I broke the 20 inch mark milestone on the Roaring Fork with an ugly looking rainbow or maybe it was a cutthroat? Who knows. I couldn’t have cared less. Capped that night off with the prettiest brown I’d ever seen. He took the RS2, works every time. Summer came and I battled my first run off, the San Juan worm kept the fish happy. In my first weekend off of my summer job I dead headed it out to Dutch John, Utah and traded hats with one of the coolest guides in the game. Hauled in 9 “best fish I’d ever landed” right in a row. Watched my first cruising fish run down my Wolly Bugger in a mountain pond and finally got the Parachute Adams working off of Y-camp road. I fished the famed Au Sable in Grayling, Michigan and learned even a 6 inch brooke trout will hammer a dry. Then had some killer guides let me in on “mousing”. I spent the next 4 moonless nights trying to find the Jaws of trout who would rip on a mouse pattern. I got shut out but I also became addicted. I still haven’t met one bad person on the water and I still haven’t been to an ugly trout stream. I spent more time with my family than any summer before and had more fun while I was at it. They say fly fishing is a life sport and to that I’d say you’re damn right it is. One full year in the books and I’m already planning my next excursion. In year two I want to land a bass on a fly rod and get into carp fishing, maybe even land a brown big enough to be put on the wall with pride, but in all honesty I’ll appreciate any fish that will test my double surgeons knot.