American Fly Fishing

Much More than Memories
By Jody Martin 

Lake Davis, CA

A slow hand-crawl retrieve, with frequent pauses, is typically the most productive tactic for anglers fishing Lake Davis during most of the year. In autumn, however, faster retrieves with bigger flies result in violent grabs from the lake’s heavy trout. Photo by Jon Baiocchi

The fire was starting to die down. Roger dropped another log in and Mike stirred the ashes and we gathered a little closer to ward off the chill in the air and finally somebody said something about Bob. He was the reason we had all been hired, so many years ago, and the reason we had come together now, even though we were calling it a fishing trip.

It was June 1995, and we were camped on the shores of Lake Davis in Northern California’s Plumas National Forest. A year and a half earlier, in the early morning hours of December 13, 1993, Bob had ended his life with a shotgun in the front seat of his car, and we were clueless as to why. There had been a memorial service for him back in Kentucky shortly after his death, but not all of us could make it, so this Western fishing trip was another way to gather and grieve and wonder what the hell had happened. And maybe it was a form of closure, whatever that word means.