A Hook and a Good Book
I couldn’t tell you Owen’s last name, or how many brothers or sisters he had, but I do know exactly how he got the scar on his cheek, and what made him come to Bishop in the middle of January instead of going to Mammoth. “For the fish” he told me, he came with his fly fishing literature class. Yeah I couldn’t believe it either, but apparently the college he attends in New Hampshire actually has a class called Fly Fishing Literature. He told me that every semester they pick a place to travel to, and spend about a week there fishing and learning about the local culture. I met him on the final night of his trip and he was tired and dirty, or as he described it to me “the look of success.”
We sat talking for a couple hours and he told me he was going to school to become an economist, but if it were up to him he would spend the rest of his life fishing. “There is just something so peaceful, yet satisfying about it.” There was this passion in his eyes when talking about it, and there was no way you could get the smile off his face when he pulled his phone out to show pictures of the fish he had caught. After seeing that reaction a part of me wanted to ask why an economist, and not something more suited to his passion for fishing. I decided it was better to just let the conversation keep going.
It was getting later in the night and more and more people were beginning to leave. I began to think how easy it is to think of Bishop in the winter as nothing more than a pit stop on the way to Mammoth. After all, every Friday we see a line of cars headed up there, and like clockwork come Sunday there go the same cars headed back down South. I have always seen “I live where you vacation” plastered around town. But it wasn’t until spending a night with Owen, hearing the passion in his voice with every story he told and the excitement on his face in every picture he showed me, that I truly understood that “I live where you vacation” is more than just a bumper sticker, or Instagram caption. It is something to be grateful for.