And now, two months later, young sons settled in with their favorite sitter for the week; rods, waders, vests, and tubes packed, on US 20 headed east with nothing but 12 more hours of driving and eight more days of, what?

"What am I supposed to do while you fish all day?"

My panic escalated with the successive realizations of condensed entrapment. Our arguments had become grassfires, lightening struck, tending to flash and re-burn through now charred, skeletalized, resistant topics until confined by the firebreaks of work, kids, family, all those safety valves now receding into the lump of Cascades behind us.
And I realized in her stare panic as well; nine days of an idea gone bad, an imagined game and pleasure now a sentence, a commitment made now rescinded. No one to talk to but me. Where
would the firebreaks be?
"I thought we talked about this. You know what fishing in West Yellowstone is. You know what Montana is. I thought you wanted to fish."
"Well, sure, a little fishing. But do we have to fish every day? Do we have to fish ALL day. Isn't there anything else to DO in West Yellowstone? Are there any GOOD restaurants in West Yellowstone? Can't we go into Missoula or Bozeman? Go to a play or something?
Silence; the despair of an idea, an anticipation, a dream ripped apart. I had thought this might be the breakthrough, that moment when, fishing, we might separate, even if only by ten feet, that she might strike out, if only in bits and starts, independently. That fishing didn't have to be something that she only did "for me". But even if it didn't happen, if I spent the whole week holding her hand wading, pointing out the holding lies, changing her flies, untangling her snarls, I would have enjoyed every minute of it. The irony is I never asked or pressured her to go fishing. She simply saw what enjoyment and nurturance I took from it and envied that for herself. But she wanted fly fishing to be some things it inherently wasn't; familiar, perpetually warm, a passive experience, and a social event, guaranteed fulfilling. All I could do was make it easier and fun. But I would have accepted that. I didn't then know any women who were flyfishers, independent, self-motivated flyfishers.
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