It is good to be put in your place. Humbled. Taken down a peg or two. If everything we do turns out great and everything we touch does our biding or makes us money…well, we can’t help but get too cocky. Then—if this good fortune continues long enough—we end up wearing a bright green fur coat, gaudy gold chains and fancy walking stick (not to use, just to carry). But a boot to the ass keeps us respectful and wearing proper clothing. It is hard to take sometimes, though…when the beating is administered by the skinny 120-pound bloke at the bar with big ears. Hard to take. As it is hard to stomach hiking up the side of a mountain for miles to fish a brookie lake and being shut down so hard you look like amateur hour at the keystone cops tryouts. But that is how it went down today. Back casting into pine trees. Losing flies. Bag of pistachios stolen (by a fuzzy brown pika). And brook trout refusing a #24 para-Adams in favor of a floating pine needle. Good grief. But we got mean and powered on, Erin and I…and did what it took to land fish. We ended up catching a good number of brookies, but I won’t say how long it took! On the hump back down to Moffat Tunnel I cursed the weight of my ruck (didn’t need those damn waders anyway!) and cursed the ability of even high-country trout to occasionally be smart. But also realized how awesome it was to finally have a woman in my life who is not scared of hard fishing, some weight on her shoulders and remote mountain tops. Yeah…maybe I’ll get that green coat after all.