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Rambling Notes: from the river

I’m swinging in my hammock riverside. The big bend on the upper canyon, below the first big canyon wall…the big eddy…you know the spot. I can just make out the canyon walls across the river facing towards the north. The constellation Cassiopeia has glided up the sky between the two adjacent cliff edges splitting the night sky perfectly from this spot for someone to watch the stars. It’s why I set my hammock up so far from where I make camp for the clients. This is my spot…my little secret…my treat to myself when I sleep riverside here.

My clients slumber over yonder. An older couple but young in life. Almost retired, active, older kids with kids younger than mine. Very fun, have travelled the world, and fished it. Incredibly polite, energetic, understanding, and very complimentary. My hospitality has been nothing but commented on. I’ve been told multiple times today weather changing flies, running lines and laps with a fully loaded boat, talking constantly about my passion, and getting incredibly excited with fish, that I’m doing a great job. To the point where I was like you guys aren’t messing with me. And no. With clients that have fished with as many guides and as many places, I have been nothing but thankful and humbled by today. With a river that tested my patience slightly, and a tired body, I have had an amazing work day.

Dinner was short, and I had planned on fishing with them as the sun set. But they retired as it got dark, with Dave giving the river a quick glance and mumbling to himself before deciding against it…I giggled…out loud and cleaned up camp quietly and secured the boat for the evening. Casting a few times to a few small fish I had watched sip emergers while making French dips. As the sun set and the light grew almost too faint to see a fly…I heard an immense rise as I walked to my hammock. It made me stop…ponder if I could get to it quietly and if I did hook it, if I could contain myself in the moment…I know myself too well and could not. So I listened quietly as he slurped two more times…loudly…to the point where I swear I heard someone in the tent yonder shuffle with the same intention I had just concluded against. A slight tinge of hope that I would see someone stumble forth headlamp on looking for a fly rod and a caddis to skate. Hmmm…the late season makes me greedy for trout. It’s bad.

The river slips, slurps, slides, and sloshes in the background, the foreground a song of crickets and other insects. I can hear deer on the hill, and owls hooting and screeching to each other across the canyon. There’s a slight breeze, light like a breath, warm but a bite from time to time when it shifts and wafts off the river. It’s just warm enough that wool cloths a puffy, hat, socks, and a wool blanket are enough. It’s probably the last night for it. I’ll enjoy it. It’s also one of the last days out of waders so that fucking sucks, but at least fall season is wicked.

Breakfast will be amaze balls in the am. Pancakes and jam, eggs, bacon…OMF I could eat. I’m hoping to land some larger fish, but what’s new. We had some really nice fish today but didn’t get a lot of completions. But what’s new. Still wicked fun. I just got back from Montana and missed so many fish I don’t really wanna talk about it. Terry is gonna shit when he finds out.

Fishing is really picking up and the upper river is gorgeous right now. Got the 7th open. I’m gonna watch the stars a bit more before nodding off. Damn caddis are flying all over my face with this iPad light. Little shits. Damn fish out there slurping them with the bats. Little shits.

Tamarack.

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