I’m not sure when it happened, but I don’t recognize anyone on my home waters anymore. There was a time when I could identify every truck at the ramp and almost every boat. I am now a mere whisper of a memory on my own water. I say it’s my own water not in a possessive way, but in respect to the fact that I’ve fished it for 20 years and like to think I know it pretty well. Granted, I don’t fish it all that much anymore for a variety of reasons, but I could put the boat in tomorrow and probably put at least a few in the net. The last time I fished it, I was approached by a young guide at the ramp and asked where I was from, did I fish there often, and eventually for a urine sample. I felt like telling him that I’d been fishing there since he was just an ill fated itch in his father’s pants, but I then realized he was me 15 years ago (well, not as masculine, but you get the point). I thought I knew everybody and everything. That’s how you think when you’re a 20-something guide. By the time you’re a 30-something guide, you cease to give a shit about most of that.
Like all things in life, the scene on my waters has passed me by. The torch has been wrestled out of my cold, mid-30s hand, which sucks. Torches are really cool. I am now anonymous Dave. I’m the guy you don’t know, have never seen, and are a little creeped out by. It’s been nice not to know you.