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> > One March Remembered

FalsiflyApril 16th, 2015, 3:48 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
A gorgeous mid-March afternoon, the sun high and its rays uninhibited by cover of cloud. I stand, my stature insignificant, between canyon walls of granite where struggling conifers take root in the rock fissures. A single flannel is all that is needed to protect my upper reaches from the cool gentle breeze. Ahead, mid-river, not much more than two casts away, stands an aged metal pole topped with a sign depicting private property….. “No Trespassing”…. its weathered etching warns.

Above that sign wound about one mile of some of the most impressive private trout water I’ve ever had the opportunity to fish. Connections to a small handful of, influential people, was the required prerequisite to turn a dream into reality. I had that dream fulfilled once, only once, and it culminated into the fish of my lifetime, which was captured through the lens of a camera. That single picture, depicting a huge hen rainbow in full spawning color held at arms length beneath an ear to ear grin, joined the ranks of the few adorning the walls of a well known restaurant. I had passed my formative years of trout fishing the “Great Divide” under the tutelage of two, over the course of five days spread over two trips in two years time, and this was one of those days.

Lessons learned, my independence beckoned for free rein to travel my own path of freedom to desired results. I wanted to master this on my own, and in my own style. It was the only way I could reach self gratification.

Several years latter:

I stood in stark solitude, the only thing between me and the trout was “Mother Nature” naked in full splendor. The only sound was the whisper of her breath caught on ear; a hypnotic blend between the moving mountain air and the music of flowing water reverberating off the canyon walls. Behind me, mid-river, not much more than two casts away, stands an aged metal pole topped with a sign depicting private property….. “No Trespassing”…. its weathered etching warns.

This was the first time I had ventured to this spot, but I had successfully fished the water not too far downriver from where I was now standing, numerous times in the past. I don’t know why, but I must have been hit with one of those “I wonder what’s around the corner” moments. You know, the kind that often leads to new discoveries. I crossed a knee deep riffle of fast water to the bank of a small island and hugged the shoreline’s easy ingress to mounting expectation. Each step further exposed an expanding view into new excitement, culminating in a Vincent moment of numerous “In The Ring Of The Rise” displays. Holding short, I fought off the nagging haste, as past memory reminded me of the waste that often follows. I recalled, not too distant, similar experiences where trembling fits of excitement only scattered fish to the nether regions on the very first cast. I lit a cigarette, reached deep within, and force myself into calm. At the head of the large pool before me was a rock dam that plunged to a depth that obscured the bottom in a pearlescent turquoise. The converging teardrop shape of the pool’s tail was flanked by fast water, but the pool itself was a sand bottomed pit of flaccid water. My plan was text book, but the outcome was yet to be chiseled in stone. I had been in this situation many times, and many times left humbled.

I stood ankle deep in firm sand centered in the tail, with nothing behind me but open water. At a distance of two modest casts I could reach the head of the pool, but if I wanted to push it I could probably reach every square foot of the pool from where I stood. About forty feet directly above me three trout were working a leisurely circuitous pattern, nonchalantly picking on the hapless midges as they struggled to their new environs. The sun was high and before me casting no shadows to my advantage. I slowly worked forward refraining from sending any rippling warning ahead, constantly on the lookout for any change in the fishes’ activity indicating I had blown my approach. Once I had reached my threshold of pushing too far I began my false casting and let one drop well off to the side to confirm my distance. The fish were still at it which was a good sign. I sent the next one right into the middle of the three working fish and watched the drift come down the center. No takes, but no spooks either. I was good to go. I worked the area until I had a sixteen inch Cut released at my feet. I managed to hold the fish back from spooking the others and lit up again to calm my nerves. After about thirty minutes I managed to pull five more fish out of that pool, a mixture of bows and browns with one brown pushing eighteen before I put it to rest. I have since experienced a similar outcome at that same spot, but this one was much more gratifying. I watched as my son pulled it off. When it all comes together it can be ecstatic.

On one side of that sign I was guided to the fish of my lifetime on private water; an experience never to be forgotten. On the other side of that sign I set myself free to a lifetime of experiences which too will never be forgotten.

Somewhere, mid-river, not much more than two casts away, stands an aged metal pole topped with a sign depicting private property….. “No Trespassing”…. its weathered etching warns.

When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
TaxonApril 16th, 2015, 9:34 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350
Nicely written, Allan. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck

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