Ever since I've known Andrew, I've listened to tales of glorious family fly fishing excursions in the rivers of the Northwest. He would describe perfect casts that resulted in the catch of elusive rainbow trout, and the resulting feelings of excitement and triumph. But since we're urban dwellers with little access to nature, I've never had the opportunity to see my fisherman in action (and honestly, just the thought of fishing used to put me to sleep). Well, let's just say I'm a changed woman, all thanks to a day on the St Joe in Idaho. The whole thing was straight out of "A River Runs Through It," minus Brad Pitt...but plus Andrew Fairchild and some awesome in laws. The trip was booked as a belated birthday present for Andrew, and Nick and Pat graciously extended the offer to me as an early birthday present. So last Friday morning, we gathered our gear and drove three hours from the family lakehouse on Pend O'reille Lake to the boonies of Idaho. We spent the next nine (yes, nine!) hours cruising down the fast-moving river, occasionally dodging rocks and constantly casting and then stripping our lines before recasting in another spot. If the fish weren't biting, we'd tie on a new fly that resembled a different bug (more on those crazy flies and their equally wacky names in a future post). From the casting movements to the terminology, my mind was bursting with new info. But by studying everyone else's movements, I slowly began to pick it up. I even caught two (two!) fish of my own—and yes, they were bigger than minnows. But even if I'd caught none, I would have been satisfied. Because each time I cast, my boat mates beamed with pride, and they patiently worked with me until I felt comfortable enough to go at it alone. A big part of joining a new family is accepting and appreciating the activities and rituals they enjoy together. You're really lucky if, like me, you happen to fall in love with them yourself. I've never felt more like a Fairchild that I did on that day.