t’s been a week since we lost our beloved dog Zep which is never an easy thing to go through. We had him for 11 great years and I’ll cherish and remember the good times. Dogs truly are man’s best friend and they don’t live long enough. One thing that always cracked me up about Zep was he liked to lay on his side and back. Every time you’d walk by him, he would raise his back leg as if he were saying “rub my belly, you know you want to”. Of course, I couldn’t resist and would always oblige. He was a great dog and I’ll miss all of his traits but we know he’s running in greener pastures now and we’ll see him again someday. There is a huge void in the house but our 3-year-old male is realizing he’s the top dog now and loving all the attention he’s receiving. Life is all about learning how to adapt to change. During the tough times I go to the place I always do for peace and comfort, the river. Stream therapy is great for the soul and always lifts the spirits. It’s a quiet and calm place to reflect on life with the soothing sound of running water in the background. On our much-needed trip to the river I told Tara that I wanted to try a new stretch, a section we’ve never seen or fished before. Like most fisherman, and women, Tara and I have our favorite holes that we gravitate to mainly because you can usually catch fish there. I remember the excitement we use to have when we were still learning and first finding these favorite holes to fish. That sense of adventure of what lies around the next bend and how big of a trout might be there. To rekindle that feeling we drove downstream a couple of miles to a section of the river that I always wanted to try but never have. We walked down to give ourselves plenty of new water to explore and I could feel the anticipation building with each step taken. Once we arrived, I immediately liked what I saw when I looked up the river. Hole after hole of beautiful pocket water stacked up like a long staircase. There was only one thing left to do and that was to see if there were any fish willing to bite. The water was still really cold which I noticed on my first step into it. We didn’t see any fish in this particular section of pocket water but I know they’re in there as the holes looked too good. We continued up the river to see what was around the bend and once again there were 3 or 4 real nice-looking spots with a bigger hole at the top end. The fish weren’t cooperating with the colder water temperatures having them still on the sluggish side and in winter mode as there was snow on the ground a couple days prior to our visit. As we approached the big hole at the top end, we took time to study where we thought a trout would most likely be hiding. We both agreed they’d be in the deepest, calmest part of the hole right in the middle. Tara added a little bit of weight to get down and started casting. She threw in several times without any luck. Just about the time she was ready to give up, a fish hit. She worked it towards the bank and I slid the net under it. It was a pretty little 12” rainbow that brightened the day and gave us confidence in the new stretch of river. It was my turn after that and a couple of holes later I also found a rainbow hanging tight on the bottom. The sun was starting to drop behind the ridgetops and you could feel the temperature dropping so we decided to call it a day. I’m glad we went exploring and I plan on doing more of it in the future. I’ll definitely hit that stretch again when the water temperatures warm up. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in our ways, or fish the same favorite holes, but life is ever changing and it’s up to us to learn how to adapt and enjoy every minute of it. Thankfully our other dog likes his belly rubbed too.