I spent the year fairly depressed, fighting medical problems, getting my gallbladder removed, and just in an overall bad mood. I've been told the first anniversary of someone's death is the toughest, and I honestly think it's true. I feel better now that it's passed, but I still miss him.
Jake was never much of a fisherman. We would go with spinning rods for bass and bluegill when we were in our 20s. It usually involved us both getting drunk, and me making half-assed attempts to fish while he took in (and smoked) all the lush greenery around him while sitting on the ground playing his guitar.
About 5 years ago, we decided to start a tradition of getting up on opening day, getting drunk, and trying to catch fish. Well, it only lasted that year. Jake wound up almost falling off a cliff into a 20 foot hole in 30 degree weather. I hate to admit it, but I was laughing my ass off seeing him scale a rock and avoid freezing to death.
2 weeks before he died, I talked him into trying fly fishing. I love the sport so much and I thought that if I could get him to appreciate it, he'd get into it too. He had recently separated from his wife and I thought he could use a release. I stayed up til 3am the night before we were supposed to go, and I filled a small fly box with about 40 flies for him. That next morning, something came up and he couldn't go fishing. Little did I know, we'd never have the chance to fish again.
When Saturday rolled around I had him on my mind all day. I was tying a few flies in the morning and I came across the small fly box I was going to give him. I had re-purposed all the flies into my boxes when he said he couldn't go, but there was still a brassie I missed sitting in there. My wife didn't even hesitate when I told her I was going fishing. She understood and told me to just go.
I fishing for a while and picked up a fish on my meal worm pattern. Then they seemed to shut off. It was getting dark and I figured "what the hell?" so I threw on the brassie. It picked up a fish on the 2nd cast. I'm not a religious person, but I think it was him giving me a nod.
RIP brother. I miss you.