Give me a 3-weight rod, an imitation grasshopper and a hot summer afternoon on just about any small creek, and I'm going to guarantee a fun and productive time on the water. I usually fish these waters in total solitude. Today was different. My wife, Phyllis, decided she wanted to hang with me today and volunteered to be the photographer. She claims I take too many shots of just trout, and that it would be nice to see the man who actually catches the trout. I'm not much for having my picture taken, but she convinced me that the camera does not remove my spirit from my body so here I am.
I love summer. Even though there was a slight overcast when we started, the grasses were tall and green, the cedars and junipers had a green-blue hue and the sage was powder-coated gray. It was a beautiful day. The sun would peak out from the clouds bringing beads of sweat dripping off my forehead and and off my nose. I usually wear a ballcap when fishing but forgot it today. When I was younger, I used to wear a bandanna around my forehead to act as a sweatband. I may go back to that practice as it was difficult keeping the salt from entering my eyes.
This small creek is loaded with brown and cutthroat trout. The ratio today was higher for the browns. I'm just a little disheartened at this. Last two years I was catching more cutthroat. This water should be cutthroat water. I hope the browns are not forcing the cutts to slowly disappear.
Today was bragger's day. With my wife as a witness, I was able to show off my prowess. This is something that a lone, solitary fly fisher doesn't get to do often. Luckily for me, the trout cooperated and I was lifted to rock star status in her eyes.
I ponder a lot while hanging out with my friends the trout. I thought about pain and hurt today. I am reminded of a quote from a Barry Lopez essay: "The living of life, any life, involves great and private pain, much of which we share with no one. In such places (I'm inserting my own place here) as quiet trout streams the pain trails away from us. It is not so quiet there or so removed that you can hear yourself think, that you would even wish to; that comes later. You can hear your heart beat. That comes first."
Today, I could hear my heart beat.