Plan and then plan again

The year 2020 has been a year of wrecked plans. Any sort of travel – cancelled. Celebrations with friends and family – done through Zoom. Even the regular trip to the grocery store or out to eat – reimagined with a mask and attempts at social distancing. This is even truer for me dealing with the ravages of cancer treatments. With a depressed immune system, I need to be extremely careful, so I really haven’t made too many plans.  

With my husband deep in the woods at hunting camp, the plan was to meet my parents on the upper Rio Grande to camp, hike and fish. All was going well on Friday night as we stared up at the glittering Milky Way. As the night cooled, I drifted off under the stars yet kept waking to intense pain. I’ll spare the details, but by Saturday morning, the pain was worse and concern great enough to drive away from the camping, hiking and fishing and place a call to my surgeon.  

The river looked so good and the crowds were minimal, I was sure the fishing was going to be incredible. I nearly cried like a child who didn’t get my way as we drove off. But back home we picked up a prescription and rested a bit more comfortably. Immediate crisis averted.  

After some time just chilling, we planned a hike to some high mountain lakes the next day. With beautiful fall colors around every corner, the hike was tough but thoroughly enjoyable. A very cool wind and exhaustion set in at the top to rob us of reaching the lake with fish, but oh well. Just another plan that didn’t go as planned.  

We made it to the top, but there were no fish in that lake.

But my dad and I were determined to get some time fishing together. After a day of more medical surprises, infusions, tests and more relaxing, I busted out work the next morning and we finally headed up to my favorite local stream for the afternoon. With storm clouds threatening, I was concerned that our plans once again would be spoiled.  

We donned our rain jackets, grabbed our 2-weights and hit the stream. What started off to be a slow day of fishing picked up once the storm clouds retreated. We caught a couple of nice cutthroat each and many small brookies. Taking turns at pools ideal for a righty or a lefty, we made our way upstream relishing in time spent together.  

Cutties make it all worthwhile.

No, the fish weren’t as big nor as numerous as what we might have caught on the Rio Grande, but the time was special. Fishing with my dad is always a treat and enjoying a beautiful hike with both parents made the initial interrupted plans tolerable. Second crisis averted.  

2020 is a year none of us will soon forget, and with another surgery in the works for tomorrow, I can’t wait to see it go. But, as long as we all make the best of each situation and realize plans don’t always come to fruition, I think we’ll make it through.  

By Kara Armano. After inheriting the fishing bug from her dad at a young age, fly fishing has taken a central part in Kara's life for over 30…