NW Casting Call Fly Fishing Expedition, Upper Yakima River and Scrapbooking Class.
FUN! I WENT FISHING!
NW Casting Call refers to a fly fishing program at Northwest Hospital in North Seattle for breast cancer survivors. Dr. Alison Perrin, the surgeon at NW Hospital for many of the participants, has helped organize a fly fishing adventure in the upper Yakima River for the past 15th years.
Dr. Perrin invited me to join the adventure at my one year breast cancer check up. Me being the Scaredy Cat, I immediately declined. But as a few days went by I emailed to be put on the waiting list. And that was that. I was in! I didn’t cancel as time neared! The additional treat of a dinner at Ray’s Boathouse for all of us—and a guest!—on another day, and also a later scrapbooking party, made it hard to refuse. I was so glad I went even though I’ve only fished once in my life.
On a rainy 40-degree morning over a dozen women piled into the bus. Two hours later I’m sharing a three person boat on the river with Dr. Perrin and Gabe, a twenty year old guide. Gabe owns the boat and was so dang proud of that fact. He has been fly fishing since he was seven years old. He knew where the trout were. The river was calm and I had to be mindful and focus. Focus. Focus. To even catch one trout. I wouldn’t even have noticed the freezing rain and hail if it wasn’t so cold! The Upper Yakima is a catch and release river. I was glad because I wouldn’t want to kill a fish. I don’t even kill mosquitos. Dr. Perrin caught FIVE trout without even trying, so it seems. For my first try? I was proud to catch one!
The fly fishing guides were from Jim Gallagher’s Troutwater in Enumclaw, WA. He’s been working with NW Casting Call for over a decade. All the guides are considerate and kind. Jim and Gabe were patient teaching us how to fly fish at the hospital grounds a few days before the trip.
We got photos from the trip to use in the scrapbook. I wrote a poem about the weather conditions: cold! and made three scrapbooks, one for my doctor, one for MaryAnne, the coordinator, and one for me. I couldn’t stop! Fly fishing helps with range of motion after breast surgery, and with morale, Dr. Perrin says. I concur! I hadn’t done any artwork after the cancer diagnosis for a year or so, and this fishing trip and scrapbooking class reignited my passion for life and artwork. It jump-started this blog, because I wanted to share the sketchbook drawings I did after this too. Along with my love for food and recipes, gardening and other life matters.