Sometimes it's just a great thing to go for a fish regardless of the day's outcome, but today wasn't feeling like anything special. The drive went rather smooth, time passed with ease and very little of my thoughts were on the fishing, kind of odd. I was dreaming of life I suppose, the when's and the how's always lead to the why's. It seems I needed to reevaluate why I give up office jobs and the "higher education" for a road less traveled every now and again. On this particular drive the debating echoed loud, back and forth, reasons and beliefs, etc, etc. I thought of… why don't I have a million dollars again? The mansion? The oh so needed luxury car? Ah right, its nature and her surroundings, that's worth more than life itself, to me…. Right? Right! But like all good things, nothing is easy and nothing is for free, things are prioritized and sacrificed for the hope of something better. Living a life filled with little money and a ton of experiences isn't a painless thing. Spending a hundred and twenty days on the snow and at least the same on the water takes it toll on the body, over the years something is bound to break. Nature isn't always colorful sunsets and prancing deer nor is it calm, cool and collect. Its power and grace make it the best and the worst of your existence, you might say life tests of what your limits are happen on a regular basis. It's appealing to those of us who have the same feelings and thoughts of life styles on a different level, not better just different. Some days its colder than you ever thought your little toes and fingers could bare and some days the wind blows so hard that only a idiot would attempt to hike, ride or cast in to her, but you do it anyway because you love it. Bank accounts are nothing more than an easy way to cash checks, if you do have a savings account it’s a collection of cash for the next trip or piece of gear. Houses are cheap renditions of your great grandma's house with the same familiar smells and carpet, with no extra charge of course. The TV isn't really for television, its for movies and adventure films and the video footage of all the neat surgeries that comes with the life style of bashing your body like it’s under warrantee. I had to finally buy a bed because of my knee surgery, a thermarest and sleeping bag just didn't sound that appealing and my kind girlfriend at the time insisted… but either does lugging around furniture, how is all that going to fit into my pack? The thought of getting a new pair of waders sounds really nice but I'll need to patch my old pair (6 months old) again but only if I can find the time, so duct tape will most likely be applied. Although the new leak I found today is deathly close to the crotch and both legs are wet now. I finally sewed up my fishing pack, it lasted almost 9 months! The entire lid blew open at the zipper stitching and it now looks like Frankenstein, but it holds all my crap. I hope that all my rods get shipped back in a timely manner, I am down to nothing and borrowing a good friends stick (Mark thanks!) until they return. My gear is lasting days not years... uggggggg
And before you know it we are here at the first stop. Time to get my license, which went up in price, how nice but I hope it helps the fishes. A quick drive to the water to check a few spots, and headed to toss a line. I was taking forever to rig up (as usual) while Nate was already hitting the water. I lazily walked down and just looked around, I wasn't that excited and I wasn't sure why. I need to just fish. I made a few casts not really thinking about what I was doing,when I noticed a Pelican floating down the river. A local for sure, riding the river like I imagine a kayak'er would, picking a line gaining speed through the chutes, playing. It was one of the coolest things I have seen a pelican do. I'd better snag the camera and unfortunatly watched the pelican fly away before I was done switching lenses. What do you do? Went back to lobbing the nymph rig until I noticed a herd of antelope drinking from a slow eddy. Perfect, hoped out and grabbed the camera and they ran away. SH**!!! I was irritated at the very least. But with good fortune (or bad luck) a Bald Eagle came flying by for a river check, and conveniently perched on a nearby branch. SWEET! Took the cap of the SLR (rigged with the long lens), and thought just maybe I can get a shot. I hit the "on" switch and … nothing, nada. Huh? Better check the battery connection. Oh right, they are all sitting at home, neat really &*^(@() neat. I laughed out loud in anger, silently mind slapped myself and put the camera away. This area wasn't producing... I was annoyed… we made a move.
The Drive to the next area was rather quick. I walked the bank for a few checking out the upper run and the pelican that finally decided to take a break from running the river. I was walking back when Nate went tight. A few casts later another one was being released. Looks like he found something. A few more cast later the first Trout was to hand. Three whitefish and now a nice rainbow, sweet! After grabbing one more Nate yelled over and told me to hop in. That's just the kind of guy Nate is, swell, he'll even share the wealth. Oh and a hell of a fisherman, just don't ask him cause he won't tell you. Although I didn't land a Trout it was nice to be catching. Well, for the next little while it was searching for the "Bows". Some really nice runs produced zero fish and nothing even spooked after we trekked through. Until the next place, Nate grabbed a few more white fish but still no sign of the Trout. The last few runs before the car… well see. I took the tail while Nate worked the middle. One small white fish was landed but still no Trout. Nate had worked the area and moved up higher, I came around casting and thinking. I snapped out of it and caught myself just lobbing over and over and over in the same place, muscle memory was driving this ship. I moved up and drifted out in thought again, and then the line went tight. I started to play it like a white fish... horse it in. Then I realized that this wasn't a head shaker whitey but a Trout. It was a fine Brown, with signs of battle wounds where he broke off some other fisherman a time or two…a strong fish indeed. A few more casts later the bows started to come in with a few white fish in the mix. I lost what I like to think was a Cutthroat but didn't really get a good look at it. A couple more bows and I decided to catch up with Nate. As I was walking I watched a few large dark objects holding tight to the inside seam. Time to return the favor I ran up to grab ol' Ralphy. He hooked a couple nice fish there, what a fantastic run.
Making the move to the last spot for the day I was coming to peace with myself. I thought of how lucky I am to be out here. How awesome nature really is, I cringed when I thought of heading home to the great city of salt, how I wished that I could be out here forever and never work again, I started to hope, OK more like dream. Nate stuck a few and I held another. The sun was setting and the light was unreal. It was casting a soft glow on to the landscape, brining out colors that only an artist can mix. Standing on the bluff gazing at the original creations I though… what an ass I was, wondering why and such… pfft ; ) I guess I needed to take the time to smell the roses, one look and I remembered. I smiled, said hello to a few friends and vowed to never stop the search. I love the country, just not the music ; )
Thanks Nate for snapping some shots!