A Good First Step…

Looking towards the western edge of the small pond at Cold Creek. The obvious pass in the mountains left of center is Wheeler Pass, a four-wheel-drive jeep trail that eventually takes you into Pahrump, NV. Note my Fish Taco hiding behind the willow tree. I was able to hobble along the impoundment dam to where I wanted to cast from, a place that would accommodate my new Walkstool in case my right leg and foot grew tired from standing. I was able to accomplish all this without the aid of a foot brace or cane.

I think of myself as an optimist with a healthy dose of realism. Those who know me might disagree, but being a faith filled Christian makes it difficult to be pessimistic. The Lord is sovereign over everything, and he is good and loving. My belief in, and my love for, the Lord Jesus moves me to conduct my life in a manner that shows my thankfulness for all the conditions of my life. It is that thankful contentedness which allows me to reflect the light of Christ to others. Some might think the greatest inspiration comes from those whose achievements are of the highest honor. Maybe so, but we should receive some inspiration from those who suffer with honor, dignity, and a glowing appreciation for all that the Lord has done for them, from His simple provision of a sunny day at a local pond to His atoning death on the cross for our sins.

The opposite view, looking east from where my truck is parked. You can see the skim ice on this shallow end of the pond. From this end to the far end, where the juniper tree stands, is a little over 100 yards.

About four months ago I posted a blog revealing a medical episode I experienced. At that time, I was unsure if I would ever be able to walk again without the aid of a walker or cane. I was disabled, and I felt like an invalid. I struggled in the first month of recovery, weak from muscle and nerve damage in my right leg and from the surgery itself. I was dependent upon my wife and family for most of my needs. It was hard to be content and thankful for my condition, and yet that was what I needed to do.

My Sweetgrass bamboo rod strung up with my Hardy LRH lightweight fly reel spooled with a 5-weight sink-tip line. It is a lovely and classic match of rod and reel.

I know I received many prayers for my recovery, and even more importantly for my acceptance of the Lord’s will in my life. Once I cleared myself of the self-pity, I was able to refocus on what was mine to do along the path of recovery. I told the Lord I would accept whatever the eventual recovery left me with, but that I would work hard to regain as much strength and mobility as possible. No matter what the outcome, I belong to Him, and He is an awesome God.

I used this Prince nymph for most of the morning. It was very productive.

I can now report that I have regained my mobility and independence. Damage remains, and it still impedes my ability to walk for long distances. But today I was able to cast my Sweetgrass “boo” fly rod at Cold Creek. It was a clear, sunny day filled with solitude and peace that the Lord arranged. He also arranged for me to hook eleven trout, of which He only allowed nine to be landed (was He telling me something about ego?).

On my very first cast this fine Rainbow trout, of 10 to 11 inches, aggressively took the copper beaded Prince nymph
My second trout, on but my third cast of the morning.

I am not sure if float tubing a reservoir will remain in my angling repertoire. My right “drop foot” will make kick paddling difficult, but my two favorite tubes have integrated rack-and-pinon oarlocks and oars. The oars can move you around, but every tube angler knows that some kick paddling is necessary when you are casting and playing fish. That is the angling goal for the early spring, but I will remain content with whatever the sovereignty of the Lord affords me.

Bringing in another early morning trout; I was greatly encouraged with these results.
The temperature was 35 degrees when I started fishing, but it was sunny with no wind so it felt warmer to me. Still, I did notice my snake guides were icing up, and that seemed to please me for some reason.
After about 90 minutes of standing to cast and squatting to handle the nine trout I landed, I found this Walkstool to be a handy and welcomed relief. I did cast while sitting on the stool as well as land a couple fish.
A view of the Cold Creek hamlet, looking southwest from near the pond turn off. It is the terminal end of the Cold Creek Road that begins from U.S. Highway 95.
A happy and content FisherDad.

I pray these words touch your heart:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

Keep me from lying and being dishonest. And don’t make me either rich or poor; just give me enough food for each day. If I have too much, I might reject you and say, “I don’t know the Lord.” If I am poor, I might steal and disgrace the name of my God.

Proverbs 30:8-9 (NCV)

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Author: FisherDad

I am a Christian who has been married to my wife for over four decades, with six children and four grandchildren so far. I have retired from a string of successful occupations as a certified public accountant, a chief financial officer, and a registered municipal advisor. I have been a fly angler for almost five decades. My one and only article submission was published by Southwest Fly Fishing magazine (now American Fly Fishing). You can learn more about me by clicking on “About” on the top of my blog page.

14 thoughts on “A Good First Step…”

  1. That is great news , that you were able to go fishing again after what you endured.
    Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    1. Gary, I appreciate your comments. I hope you and Janet are doing well. Thank you also for keeping me in your prayers.

      Happy Holidays to you as well.

      – Mark

  2. My friend, good for you. What a beautiful day you had. I never knew that there was a little pond at the end of Cold Creek. It looks like you are making progress and that is great. Take care of yourself and may you and your family enjoy this holiday season.

  3. Thanks for your inspiring words of encouragement! I have a question relating to my age of 65 and retirement. Do you think you retired at the right time? I like my job and the good people on my team and above me – We are doing good work, as you were. I’m wondering if you said “boy I should of retired a long time ago” , even before your recent troubles?
    Praying for your rapid progress and many tight lines in your future.

  4. Mark,
    So happy to hear that you’re up and about. Have been praying for your speedy recovery.
    Thank you, Lord.

  5. Great to hear that you are doing well each day my friend and brother in Christ. What an inspiration to others who maybe afflicted with ailments of many kinds. The Holy Spirit will always guide you in wellness and endeavors. Glad to see that you landed some nice rainbows. It’s always great for the solitude, beautiful day and worshipping the creator . May each day bring continued strength. Hopefully one day we could fish Angel lake outside of Wells, NV. God’s country, the Ruby’s are .

    1. Fred,

      Thanks for your prayers and support these past 4 months. I continue to work hard in the gym, and I see some improved control of my right foot. This Cold Creek trip was a small victory, and I hope I can build on that, if our Lord is willing.

      May He continue to bless and keep you and your family.

      – Mark

  6. You never cease to amaze me as you overcome this latest challenge you have been dealing with. Praise God, He is seeing you through as He always has. I am comforted knowing that you are getting back on your feet and being independent once again. Thanks to Denise and your family that are always there to help. You are an inspiration to all who have known and worked with you!

    1. Karen,

      Thanks for your precious comments. I believe we each have our burdens to carry, and our work to do. In a way, the Lord provides these things for each of us so that we may grow closer to Him. As we come to love and trust Him more each day, we are able to love each other in this fallen world. It’s not always easy for us, but Jesus can make the burden light.

      I will pass on your comments to Denise; she has always been my rock, but never more so than those first two months on recovery.

      – Mark

  7. Mark,
    Thanks for sharing your faithful journey with all of us. Your attitude and in spite of your physical setback is an inspiration and great example for us all. Thank You!
    Peace to you my Brother

    1. Brother Dave,

      There are many lessons I learned from our Men’s Group over the last 25 years or so, and one was Philippians 4:11-13. I am blessed to have you and our other PK brothers, as iron sharpens iron.

      Love you brother,


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