My first fish story is a long one, so since you asked for it here it is:
Although my father was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey which is surrounded by saltwater, he did not learn to swim or fish. Neither did my two brothers. However, my cousin’s husband was a hunter and a fisherman. He particularly liked fly fishing. He was sort of my hero.
When I was in junior high (mid-sixties), he took me to a creek north of Tehran and we fished for trout. He set me up with a simple rig. About three split shots, 10” above a hook which had a half of night crawler on it.
We would dip the sinkers and the hook in the holes in front of the boulders. On one occasion, I caught a trout which was about 10” or so. Happy as you can image.
But this was not the best part yet:
Side story…While in junior high, like most Iranian youth, soccer was the game to play. Since the soccer fields were not available, we would play in the street while avoiding the traffic.
There was a friend who would be my teammate often. We could read each other’s mind and anticipate each other’s move. Like Jerry rice and Joe Montana. He also liked to fish, being from the Caspian Sea region. Lastly he was attending another famous school in Tehran. He was very good student.
Back to the fish story:
A day after I caught the fish, I told my friend about it. I took him to my house and showed him the fish in the refrigerator. He was impressed.
After I left Tehran to finish high school in Istanbul, and later college in US, I lost contact with him.
Fast forward to sometime in 1990’s. I was living in Los Angeles, and wanted to join the Wilderness Fly Fishing Club chapter in Los Angeles. They had a monthly meeting in a pricy restaurant with guest speakers.
When I arrived at the restaurant, the president of the chapter greeted me and asked where I was from due to my foreign name. When he learned I was Iranian, he said we have two other members who are Iranian. So naturally, he sat me across from them.
While we reminiscent about our youth in Tehran, I asked one of them where did he live? When he mentioned the street which was very close to where I had lived, I asked him where did he go to school?
He mentioned the other famous school in Tehran. Now here is what the story gets good.
He asked me… “did you catch a trout and had it in your refrigerator?” OMG. I had forgotten about that years ago, but when he mentioned it, I knew he was my old soccer buddy.
After handshake and a long hug, we informed the curious president, that we were childhood friends. That we have not seen each other for many years.
I found out he was working as a physiologist at UCLA, and that he was an avid fly fisherman.
Well, I attended one more meeting at the pricy restaurant to see him and even bought a fly rod he was selling. However, joining the club and the monthly meetings were getting too expensive for my budget, so I stopped.
Sometime later when I called the number on his card that he gave me, it was not working. I can’t recall how, but I found out he had moved from Los Angeles.
Once more I lost contact with him.
Now occasionally when I am walking on Westwood Blvd (Aka Therangeles), I wonder if a passing person is one of my old friends.
I have even made a couple of polo shirts with my high school name and the Persian calendar year that I was there in front and back. In the hopes that if an old classmate sees it, will start a conversation.
I wear it to Costco and Persian restaurants. No takers yet.
Since this was very long one, I leave the answer to other questions for another post.