20 days until I leave for the homewater. Once there I get to spend 10 days or so getting back into the river rhythm and prep for the season. I haven’t fished since October. I’m not a fan of the cold and frozen fishing conditions. So the stoke to chase trout is rather high. We have a lighter sno pack this year which should make for some decent spring fishing and I’m trying not to think about the heat of summer and low water that looks inevitable. Expanding to other species and other rivers in other states will help alleviate that stress.
I am so ready for the change of pace. Being at home has been great spending time with the lady and my children but the call of the river beckons me wayward. The fishing every day, waking to the river, slumbering beside her in the evenings, fly fishing and all that in entails is a part of me. Just like my family, and I yearn to embrace the river and the wild things that live within and around it.
The spring is a wonderful time on the river. The cold crisp mornings, the sun warming and brining things to life. The sounds of birds, the buds on the trees peeking out, the soft babble of river before it swells with the melt. The crunch of old hard snow under my wading boots, my breath visible in the morning air. The scent of conifer trees, of wet damp wood smoke of a campfire, hot coffee while waiting for things to wake.
I sit and tie flies while reminiscing of previous springs, of fish, and people, wildlife, and things coming to life. The feel of a double taper cutting through the air, the soft drift of a mayfly along the edge of a riffle. The take…the sweet subtle take from a trout fooled by my fly. The flutter of my heart that turns turns to a thumping, pumping adrenaline throughout my body, my soul, if there is such a thing, rejuvenated and filled with that intoxicating mixture of anxiety and joy. The battle, the shakes, the pulls, the jumps, the runs, of a wild trout playing the game with me. The smile that won’t leave my face, the audible noises that splurge from my mouth. The feel of my net in my hand, the cold water splashing as the trout comes to hand. The immediate satisfaction of success and the calm that unfolds when the trout is landed.
The feel of the animal in my hands as I release it, the power as it strokes it’s tail to be free once again, leaving me that sense of freedom that I so crave. Nothing else in the world in that moment….nothing…save for an angler…and a wild trout…