All content © Robert Williamson

All content © Robert Williamson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

HEADWATER SOLITUDE

 I know that all of us have lives that cause us to ponder and search. It seems I have a propensity for it. I've always been a quiet ponderer, but recently, I have realized that life is short. Without going into too much detail, I will say that my brother, who is only a year and a half older than me, had a main artery in his heart rip open a few years back. Miracles and a dedicated and talented surgeon saved his life. This incident confirmed my feeling that life is short. It shook me up. Alix Kate Shulman quotes a friend who suffered from a heart attack and subsequent surgery in her book, Drinking the Rain: "I've learned two main things from my heart attack. The first one is, if I survive this surgery I will never rush again. The second is this, I'm going to show my love as often as I can." I like the idea of not rushing and showing love often. Those ideas go with solitary ventures into headwaters.

One of the things I have been trying to be better at, is seeing beauty in the landscape, the plants and animals, and in the feelings I have while outdoors. This is the attitude I carried with me as I searched out the wild, native cutthroat in a local headwater creek.

I walked to the bridge and dropped down to the creek. I was wet wading with shorts and light-weight hiking boots. I stepped into the water and felt the initial sensation of cold wetness. This sensation soon subsided as my feet became used to the temperature change. The rocks were slick and I had to be careful as I moved around the creek. I've tweeked my back slipping on round, slick rocks. Back pain can cut into fishing time so I've learned to be cautious as I wade.

I cast into several pockets and seams and caught a couple of lively, and brightly colored native cuthroat trout; the exact treasure I had hoped for. Each trout was handsome. I looked for the orange slash of color under the jaw and noticed the dark spotting, the bluish par marks, the rose gill covers, and the tea-stained fins and tail. Other colors jumped to my eyes as I admired and released each fish.

After catching a number of fish, my mind wandered. I noticed the green in the streamside grasses and the yellow, lavender, and orange in wildflowers. Deep dark pines along the canyon side gave hints of refreshing shade on a sun-hot day.

I made it up stream about a mile and sat down on a large rock. I ate a granola bar and drank from my water bottle. As I sat, I listened. I heard the voice of the creek: a gentle and bubbling voice with an occassional deep bump when rocks rubbed together. The sounds became soporific and I closed my eyes long enough to start a dream. I was moved to alertness by the call of a bird. I looked around. I stood and gathered my gear. One more trout, I thought, as I placed my cast along a small undercut bank. A quick rise and a lift of the rod brought another cutthrout from its lie.

I followed the road back out to my car. I glanced down to the creek from time to time. I'll be back I whispered. My life is too short to not share a portion of it with my friends.


DELICATE NATIVE BONNEVILLE CUTTHROAT
THIS IS CONSIDERED A NICE FISH ON SMALL HEADWATERS
WILD CUTTHROAT
WILDFLOWERS ADD TO THE BEAUTY
SMALL BUT AGGRESSIVE
MORE COLOR
3-WEIGHT ROD PERFECT FOR SMALL NATIVES

2 comments:

Rex said...

Beautiful fish. I love headwaters. Size on the hopper?

Wildnative said...

Size 12 Tiemco 5212 hook. Pattern: Twisted Foam Hopper (Yellow and Tan).