Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pick & Choose.

In stark contrast to the previous days, this morning presents cold temperatures, steady winds, & rain on the way. Word from the weather channel the night before proclaimed that some areas of the state would be receiving snow overnight. A rare occurrence this time of year. In the early hours I make my way to the latest stream and layer up with almost all the clothing I brought with me on the road trip. I rig up and head to the water to find it roaring, making the already difficult wading, even worse. I struggle out into the current and I am awakened from my mid-morning slumber by a decent wild brown. It is going to be a good day.

Late Afternoon Glory.

However, things soon took a turn for the worse. Foolishly, I am pushing my wading skills to the limit and truly testing the merits of rubber over felt. Shifting rocks, large boulders, and slabs of slate present themselves like surfboards under my feet as the current takes me for several rides. Thus far, my youthfulness and balance is winning out. Why take the chance? Simple, you have to get to where the fish are. In this stretch, they are way out there on the opposite side in all the seams and slack water along the raging torrent. After catching a few more fish, I lose my rig. Frustrated I turn in the current to head to shore and the next thing I know, my legs slide out from underneath me and I fall into the current. Simultaneously I conduct a one handed push up out of the water as over a 1,000 cfs makes its way down my chest waders and into every extremity.

I make the walk back to the truck in shame as heads turn in every car whizzing by. I take everything off and stand in the parking lot shivering. I crawl into the back of the truck and take off all my underwear and contemplate my next move. Head home or gut it out with all you have left. I ponder it for quite awhile as my sleeping bag provides warmth. I decide on gutting it out, and I put on some dirty wet underwear, a pair of jeans, and a thin hooded sweatshirt. All I have left. I slip into still wet waders and head back out into the fray, wading the same way I did before. About an hour later, the rain comes, except it isn't rain. It is sleet. My highly breathable and waterproof cotton hoody is providing all the warmth I need. Not. For most of the day, the fishing is slow making me contemplate my decision to continue fishing. A mile or more upstream of my last parking spot, I am about to pack it in. I am at a bend in the river and with every bend you usually have a choice. Check out the next hole or pack it in. I decide to check out the next hole.

The next hole is long, deep, and slow with slate cliffs along the right hand side. Not very inviting for my current method of fishing. I am almost soaked to the bone at this point as rain interchanges with periods of sleet. Like a jet of warm air, a trout rises off the bottom yards away, straight out of the depths and slams something on the surface, cart wheeling out of the air. A few moments later another nose breaks the surface. In a few minutes, fifty yards of water is alive with rises. BWO's are coming off. My day is about to be made.

For the next three hours, I pick and choose every fish before catching it. Starting at the bottom of every new run, I patiently wait, taking a mental snapshot of every rise. I plot my path on the coordinate plane of water and all I have to do is connect the dots. Before approaching each fish, I time their rises, careful to not interfere with their feeding. The approach is up and across with long reach casts and a simple biot body parachute BWO. Almost every fish takes.

My morning and mid-afternoon can be described as a miserable day on the water. I would take a bad day fishing over a day of work or any other activity anytime. Sticking it out for so long in the rain and the cold, I was rewarded for my effort with an endless amount of eager browns willing to satisfy my lust for a rise.

1 comment:

Bigerrfish said...

Nice day of fishing and great images!!!