Its cold. Cold enough my breath plumes with each deep heavy breath. The current tugs at my thighs trying to push me down river. My feet are almost numb, the bite of the rivers’ frigid grasp on my knees.
The sun has tried to break through the high gray cloud cover. The trees have the first hint of new growth on them…aching for the sunlight. As is my body. But my mind welcomes the overcast…the hatch is upon the river. Small blue wing olive mayflies flutter and dance about flirting with flight. The trout just yonder flirting with my heart.
The surface of the water is like glass in the back eddy. A steady spring current brings dainty insects onto the glass. They slow and bounce trying to lift off in the damp afternoon air. It drizzled earlier, my beard still damp. The anticipation builds, my feet slowly move through the heavy cross current, the gravel and rocks click and clock under my felt.
My arm twitches as I postion myself slightly down river of the glass. I watch patiently. The hatch has just begun and the trout holding just up river has only come up once. But once was enough to ignite the drive. I watch, the cold biting the current pulling.
My heart quickens. The cold no longer has the sting, adrenaline starts to trickle in.
I pull my line from the reel quietly, my fingers cold as water spurts from the unrolling line. I wait. Enough line measure out flowing in a large green loop in the current below me.
My fly is dressed. The size 18 mayfly imitation between my fingers. Flossed to my fly rod with hair thin line. I will wait…
The river quiets. I watch.
The fly passes over the glass.
The fly disappears under a small nose. The rod lifts and bends.
The Shake and Roll
The trout moves deeper and into faster water. Pulling.
I lead and the trout follows. The distance betwwen us closes. The heart races, the breath quickens.
I hold my breath as my net breaks the water. The tension ceases and the dance is finished.
The trout has spots as big as my thumb on the tail. A deep shade of pink from gill plate to back. The cold water on my hand, the trout sliding away back to the glass.
Another Rise just Yonder.