Donald Bain 1998

Hooked at 50 – How I Got Started Fishing

By DONALD BAIN – “Trust me,” he said.

That was the line I heard countless times from my agent but never from my daily luncheon companion, or E.Z. Filler, (a dentist and that was his real name). He had just convinced me, a non-fisherman, to join him on a fly fishing expedition to Weatherby’s fishing lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, on the Canadian border. I had seen films of fly fisherman, dressed up in battle gear and earnestly wading through streams and rapids in pursuit of trout or salmon whose only motivation to make it upstream was to spawn.

Frankly, the whole idea seems silly, and the fact that E.Z. had convinced me to try this is testimony to his persuasive powers and to my frame of mind at the time. A long, tough year had left my nerve ends exposed, so I was anxious to find a form of relaxation that would work for me. Years of competitive tennis had been fun but hardly relaxing. Music has been fairly effective – I’m a devoted jazz lover and vibraphonist – but even that pursuit, at least lately, had seen part of a generally frenetic life. At age 50, with a sense of mortality growing keener every day, I was receptive to almost anything except coin collecting, building ships in bottles, and Zen.

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