Thursday, September 8, 2016
Three Creeks Lake Day 2
The weather changed and day two at this small lake high in the Cascades dawned clear and sunny. The water was calm with only a twinge of wind from time to time. Still the fishing was slow and all I got for my efforts was tired. Nevertheless, it's wonderful to be there. I thought the rainbow that appeared over the lake yesterday might be some kind of omen. Just a brief beauty, that's all. After about 6 hours in two visits, I decided that the fish were laying low and not eating much. Maybe they indulged too much on Labor Day?
Then a dragonfly landed on me? Another omen? I was hoping. By 1:00 I was hopeful of a hatch and fish rising to make landing something easier. Not to be. Then, in a heartbeat, it all changed. A bump...was that a bite? Well, just making contact was a relief. I can stop second guessing myself. Then that unmistakable feeling of a fish on; fish gone. Finally a huge tug and the rod bends mightily. Suddenly it's over. Lost him. I retrieve my line and see that the fly is gone. Either the knot failed or he bit or snapped me off. The tug was strong. The feeling of a wild fish unmistakeable. That's what I have. All I have. Once the frustration and anger disappear. I tally up the learning. I made contact. I will always have the knowledge that I had that success. I need no trophies. I need no more pictures. I would have loved to see the colors and size of that fish, but that will never be. I must be content to own these memories. I am.
Sometimes when I float on a lake I get to thinking about all the things that have to come together for me to feel a fish tug on the end of my line. There is the travel time to get to the water. There is the road and weather conditions. The rod is assembles, the reel added and then line strung through the guides. Flies need to be carefully tied on the tippet. Try threading a needle with your glasses slipping or wind snapping in your face. Inflate the tube. Change into waders, wading boots and ultimately swim fins. Carry it all down to the water. Don't forget sun screen, water, some food, your tools (line clipper, forceps, fly boxes) sunglasses, hat, landing net. Now you're set. Just add patience. That instant you make contact with a trout, all the pieces fit together. All the effort intersects with chance and luck and a little bit of skill thrown in. Then it all comes undone until next time.