Saturday, August 20, 2011

To Those Who Wait

Is there something that you really want to do? Is it a something that you do not have complete control over because it takes more than just will? Do you sometimes think, I hope this happens before my time is gone?
For me, that something became a reality yesterday. Exhale now because we're not talking about world shaking events here. Not even what most folks would call significant or morally uplifting, or even mildly important. No, none of these. But for me, all of them.
Yesterday I caught a brown trout. Actually I caught two. First time for me. As a flay fisher, I have always wanted to complete the cycle and catch all four kinds: rainbow, cutthroat, brook and brown trout. The brown trout has eluded me all these years. Probably because you have to go where they are and even then, as always, there is not guarantee.
OK good for me...I did it. But there is more. The reason I'm overjoyed is that this accomplishment carried with it a few other things. Here's what happened. I went on a fishing trip that m local Trout Unlimited group put together. Even though there are hundreds of members in this national conservation group, only a few go on these outings. It's difficult for many to get away in the middle of August on a weekday. This particular trip was to a small lake in the Cascades. To reach it you must travel on no fewer than 4 different Forest Routes. Those narrow dirt or gravel roads the Forest Service uses to get around and to fight fires.
I was apprehensive, to say the least. Once there, I declared the day a success because at lest I did one thing right and didn't get lost. It's only a 90 acre lake, a real little jewel nestled in the middle of pine and fir trees. There is a 1/2 mile hike in which can be taxing if you have a float tube strapped to your back and you are slightly out of prime shape.
Having completed all that, I was not too dismayed when after five hours of casting and retrieving a number of different flies, all I had to show for my efforts was a 6 inch brook trout who, while very pretty to look at, wasn't too bright. Or was he? Some people say the little ones are even harder to catch. I don't say that.
Long about 2:30 I thought about calling it a day. When a few fish started rising to another very prolific mayfly hatch, I decided to switch tactics. The older man at the fly shop nearest me told me that his favorite mayfly imitation didn't have to sit on top of the surface. I tried that and within minutes...bam! my first brownie. A 13 incher that I photographed and returned to his home beneath a log in the nick of time.
A few minutes later, I tried another fly the old guy sold me, and my second brown trout came to the net after a voracious grab of the little floating mayfly. This one measured about 16 inches and put a smile on my face I haven't been able to wipe off yet.
For me, it's about being patient. That's what I love about fly fishing. It makes me patient and helps me be in the moment. There are a lot of moments in five hours.

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