I am in my last week at home. It hasn’t stopped snowing for the past several days, it’s still wicked cold, and my patience is wearing thin. I’m ready to be back to the river life. The snow pack across the West has improved greatly. The stress of a super crummy summer has lightened after the past 10 days of storms and snow flurries. Anglers are starting to perk up with the closeness of things thawing and spring breaking through. It’s almost time.
My family knows I’m leaving soon. The kids ask me daily when I’m leaving and my lady seems to be trying to ignore the fact I will be gone for several weeks soon. There’s a lot of not wanting me to leave attitude coming from them but there is also that understanding that I need and want to go. We support our family with my guiding. Buy cloths, pay bills, rent, all that stuff is financed through guiding. As my kids have grown they see the connection between guiding and our lives more so than ever. I think my wife is just happy that I’ll be out of her hair for a bit, but she’s also understands what fly fishing and guiding means not only to our family but also to me on a personal level.
I am passionate about two things in life. My family and fly fishing. They are in a constant race for first place with me. After being here since October the fly fishing is ready to take the lead for the next few laps.
My brain has started to change, I think in terms of trout. I break down water in my head, fish for imaginary trout, run over all the places to fish on all the different floats I row. I can fish most of the Yak from memory these days, remembering that bend, this pocket, that boulder garden and that riffle. I anticipate the sights, sounds, and smells of the river in spring time. The river waking slowly every morning, the BWO hatch in the late afternoon, Skwalla stoneflies scurrying along the banks and river surface. Slurpy trout gobbling them up.
Clients are reaching out to me. Asking when and where things are gonna happen. I’m almost riverside and can finally get into the groove of interpreting and decoding the river everyday once again. The prep work, checking flows, predicting hatches, taking temps, watching the weather forecasts, flows predictions, water storage and runnoff predictions, it’s all a week away.
Fishing everyday again. The things fishing for days upon days in a row can do for your soul or whatever you wanna call it. That sweet feeling of a rod bending in your hand in the back cast. The sound the line makes as it zips through the air. The dimple of the fly as it’s placed on the rivers surface. The anxious wait as the drift goes through, the sip, the set, the shake of a wild trout tricked by a fly. The disconnect from the noise of one world and the reconnect to another through something as silly as some feathers and thread wrapped around a hook. Those that know….know and those that are trying to discover it, search for it.
A week away anglers. A week away and I’m back living riverside.
See ya out there anglers.