The article below was written by a Troutnut contributor. Hope you can relate to it as I did. Tight Lines!!! Smalflyguy
An early rise wasn’t necessary, the season was caught somewhere between the waning winter solstice and the waxing vernal equinox. It would be hours before the rising sun’s ascent above the horizon would cast enough of its rays to warm the icy freestone flow. That would be the time the invertebrates’ would emerge from their sleeping slumber and present themselves to the voracious appetites of my purpose. And I planned on being there, to once again, present my artificial offering to their liking.
As I lie prone to the world my eyes drew open, peaking into the surrounding reality; as the sleep was slowly swept away, giving consciousness to another fishing day. I slipped from beneath the covers and into my long johns, wool socks, wading pants and heavy flannel shirt. From bedroom to living room I stepped off the short distance to the front window and pulled back the curtains of my modest kitchenette. As I withdrew from my privacy, opening the curtains to allow daylight in, I was met face to face with the mighty roar of the March lion. On the other side of that single glass pane Mother Nature was unleashing her fury against my anticipated day. All was covered, throughout the stealth of night, with a white depth, concealing the outside world and measured better in feet than in inches. I turned grabbing the TV remote from the end table and clicked on the power button, then scrolled down the screen and entered the weather channel. I contemplated making breakfast but settled for a granola bar. Grabbing the tying material from the island counter, which separated the kitchen from the living room, and upon which I had my tying material laid out in my typical orderly fashion, I selected from the necessary material to replenish my depleting ware from the loss of the previous two days. I spent the next hour seated on the edge of the couch and bent over the coffee table tying up the two midge patterns which had taken years to perfect. I no longer felt the need to tweak the patterns, as they were producing beyond my wildest dreams. With the vise work completed I assembled my afternoon sustenance by stacking sliced chicken and cheese between two slices of rye bread complemented with a container of potato salad, a small bag of chips and a can of diet Pepsi. After packaging my lunch neatly into a small cooler half full of ice, complete with a couple squares of paper towel and plastic fork, I headed to the corner, next to the front door, were my waders and boots had spent the night drying. Normally the waders and boots would be hand carried to the Tahoe and stowed in the back for donning streamside, but this morning’s wade to the car would require some snow repelling protection.
Suited up, in fishing fashion, I grabbed the cooler and retracted the dead bolt, then gave the door knob a twist and pulled open the door. The first step outside was met with a knee-deep cresting wave of snow trying to enter through the doorway, so I quickly pulled the door shut. I trudged my way to the stair and looked down at the long steep slope to the parking lot from the second story tier. Firmly grasping the handrail I descended in short sidesteps trying to avoid taking a disastrous tumble while working my way to the base. With both feet finally planted on Terra Firma I made my way to the white mound concealing my ride. I cleared the white stuff from the driver side door, hoping to avoid an ensuing avalanche to the interior as best I could. Leaning in I inserted the key and twisted life into the 350, while confirming oil pressure as it settled into a steady idle. I cranked the heat to high, while grabbing the combination snowbrush and ice scraper, and commenced to dispersing the fallen foe to the discretion of the wind. I backed out leaving the only patch of visible asphalt in the parking lot.
Luckily the snowplow had my eleven mile trek up the canyon at least suitable for four-wheel drive. I hugged the sinuous river bank road with the same awe as the first time I traveled it, only now it was as familiar to me as the back of my hand. My destination was fixed as I past by the many memories of both yesterday and yesteryear's. I had come to love this place through an invitation of a close friend, and had worked hard at revealing its secrets. It was here that the midge bit me and became the irrepressible itch so many years ago.
I pulled off the main road and set virgin tracks to the depth of the belly pan hoping to establish my return route from my parking spot, knowing that it might be required in reverse. I exited the vehicle relishing the first breath of exhilaration from on high, and listened to the profound quietness that was left to the canyon breeze. From the rear swinging doors of the Tahoe I swung the heavy vest onto my shoulders as the clanging hemostats, clippers, and plastic flyboxes sang their familiar song. With shirtsleeve cuffs tucked between fingertips and palm, I slid my arms into the sleeves of my wading jacket and zipped up against the late morning cold. The wool hat was pulled over my head and down around my ears, and the fingerless wool gloves were forced into the intersections of thumb and fingers as I intertwined both hands into a tight clasp. From the case I extracted my polarized spectacles, with the light enhancing yellow lens, and I slid the bows into a snug fit behind the ears. Today they would double as goggles. I pulled the hood over my hat and drew just enough string to secure it from the wind but not so much as to become a hindrance. Grabbing the cork handle of the assembled nine foot four weight Scott I back stepped just enough to clear the tip from the door frame and closed the doors, free at last.
Gaining ground to the riverbank, through the knee-deep snow, I keep a close eye on the water surface. The large heavy snowflakes appeared to be hitting the water with such force as to leave rippling dimples, but the closer I got the more the optical illusion started to reveal itself. I wasn’t struck with the reality of the situation like it was a sudden revelation; it was more of a slow building manifestation that increased with each repeating heartbeat. My ticker rate, anxiety and forward progress peaked at the moment the reality dawned on me. They say that only fools rush in, and like a fool my hurried pace had me stumbling to my knees in an attempt to get to the water faster. The trout had the surface covered with dimples from bank to bank, as they slurped the shuck hindered adult midges from their watery bonds.
I slipped my anxious hold and relaxed into a steady confidence by accepting “what will be, will be” and started to cast my fate upon the whim of the, often times, finicky feeders. What had started out in “March Madness” had quelled itself into a passive lamb, as the fish offered to the sacrifice. And a day of thanks will, forever, be remembered.