I have a friend named Rob Pincock that I have known through my church for quite some time now. I’ve always been impressed with his work ethic, his generosity, and how genuine he is. Rob is the kind of guy you can count on when in need.
During the week of July 21 through 25, Rob was one of the main guys in charge of my church’s camp for the young women in our area. He worked selflessly and tirelessly all week to make sure things went smoothly, sometimes doing menial jobs like hauling away all the garbage from the various campsites.
Since my oldest daughter Emma turned 12 in 2009, I have been going up to Girl’s Camp for one night of the week to help out. Since that time, I always tell people, “Girl’s Camp is the best kept secret in the church!” This is because I get to take a few days off of work to be in the mountains with my daughters, the food is so much better than Scout Camp, and there’s a fun little trout stream that runs right through the camp. This year, I went up to Girl’s Camp on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Wednesday morning, I got to go white water rafting with my second daughter, Jenness, and twenty-eight other girls and leaders, on the world-class stretch of Snake River above Alpine, Wyoming. Rob was one of the leaders on this adventure. All in all we had three rafts full of people.
With the high precipitation we received last winter, the river was higher than I’ve ever seen it. The raft I was in ended up hitting a big rock wall which threw me and four others in my boat into the turbulent river. We all were rescued without any casualties. However, the experience was pretty harrowing for all in our boat. From that point forward, we were hyper-focused and had no other mishaps.
When we got down to the take out, we found that the other two rafts were way behind us. When they finally reached the take out, Rob, who was in one of the other boats, reported to me that he had a rough ride. His raft hit the same rock wall that we did, which sent him and many others into the river. If that were not bad enough, when Rob’s raft hit the famous “Lunch Counter” rapid, Rob was thrown into the raging river once again. Needless to say, I felt for my friend and was glad he finally made it safely to the takeout.
When we made it back to Girl’s Camp, I decided to fish the little creek for a while. After having fished this creek for five years now, I know most of the good spots on the creek. As I approached the most reliable holes–which happen to be right near the road–Rob drove by in his white Toyota and stopped to say “Hello.” I knew that Rob had recently started fly fishing, but he and I had never fished together before.
I asked him with a smile, “Do you want to catch a fish?”
Rob replied, “No. I have so much to do. I really shouldn’t.”
I insisted, “Come on, Rob! I know right where a good fish is holding. It’ll only take a few minutes.”
When Rob realized I wouldn’t take no for an answer, he agreed. Rob pulled his truck over and I handed him my little three weight Temple Fork rod rigged with a Chubby Mormon Girl tied by my brother, Shawn (I assure you that the name of the fly and the fact that I was at a Mormon Girl’s Camp is purely coincidental!!!).
At the first hole, Rob struggled a little with casting the rod and hung up a few times in the thick weeds. When he finally got a good drift, a nice cutty rose and Rob was a little slow on the strike. As he false cast to try again, a red Toyota Van drove by and–as if in slow motion–the fly hooked into the van’s wheel well and the rod jerked behind him. Rob held the rod tightly as line peeled off the reel until the fly finally popped off. The limp line sling-shotted back to us.
I chuckled as I watched the whole fiasco unfold and the confused look on Rob’s face as he looked over his shoulder and realized what he had hooked into–a monster in any angler’s book.
Rob said to me, “I am so embarrassed. Now you’ll never want to go fishing with me again.”
I replied laughingly, “Don’t worry about it, Rob. It’s not that big of a deal. Actually, it was pretty funny.”
Rob wanted to go down to the car and retrieve my fly and–to ease his mind– I told him, “No, flies are a dime a dozen. I have another one we can use.”
I re-rigged the rod with another Chubby Mormon Girl. I handed the rod to Rob and we walked twenty feet upstream below the best hole on the creek. At this moment, I felt that nobody deserved to catch a fish more than poor Rob. In fact, I said a silent prayer in my heart: Please help Rob to catch a fish out of this hole! Rob made a decent cast into the shadowy pool and a nice fish rose, but Rob missed him on the strike.
“Hit it again,” I told him, “I don’t think you stung him.”
Rob made another good cast and the fly drifted through the lie and the fish rose again. Rob set the hook and the big fish ran downstream. I pulled out the iPhone and snapped a few photos. Rob soon landed the big Cutty. My prayer had been answered.
As I took his photo, Rob raved, “That is a huge cutthroat for this little creek! Andy, thank you so much for letting me catch your fish.”
“Congratulations,” I responded “This is the second biggest cutty I have ever seen in this creek. It was my pleasure.” I replied. I honestly enjoyed watching Rob catch that fish as much, or more than, if I had caught it myself. Indeed, fishing with Rob was definitely amusing!