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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



On Sunday, Cris, Papa and I made our first fishing trip of the season. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has a program called the Cutt Slam. The program encourages anglers to learn more about Wyoming's cutthroat trout species and the work of the Game and Fish Department's management program. To complete the challenge and receive your certificate, you must catch Wyoming's four cutthroat trout in their native range.

We all three completed the Cutt Slam in 2018, together. Last year, Cris and I finished the Cutt Slam as newlyweds. This year, all three of us will attempt to complete the challenge again. An angler can complete the program as many times as they desire; however, the state will only recognize the program's completion once with a certificate.

"And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you." (Matthew 6:18)

For us, completing the Cutt Slam challenge isn't about the recognition. The reward is something more hidden. It's about time spent traveling and fishing together in different waters around the state.

On Sunday, there was a moment when we were all three fishing near enough to see one another. I stopped casting my fly long enough to watch. Papa is a Zen-master angler, approaching fly-fishing like all things in life with patience and precision. He watches the waters for a fish to rise and delicately lays down his fly where he knows a fish is waiting. Cris is a bit more impatient; it seems to me, he changes his fly a lot, looking for just the right one to land the trout. Now, I wish I could tell you I am a great angler with precision casting, but I'm the worst; I'm that fly-fisherman that doesn't deserve to catch a fish. I can't get my fly to land where it should. I get my line tangled and caught on limbs and branches. I'm honestly, a mess of an angler. Yet, somehow, I still manage to land some beautiful trout on some beautiful waters.

You see, the Lord knows I'm not a great fly-fisherman. He knows everything. He knows I'm a bit of mess. But the Lord doesn't reward us to the level of our ability. He is far too generous for that; he gives us more than we deserve.

God knows the inner room of my heart and that spending the day with those I love would be enough. Yet, on the quiet stream where all you can hear are the rippling waters, He comes to me. He fills my heart with His presence, the reward of a day spend with Him and His creation.

. . . And if I'm fortunate, a trout on the end of my line.

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