A semi-coherant collection of ramblings,misdealings, and Tom Foolery experienced in pursuit of Great Lakes Steelhead.
Friday, May 06, 2011
Old Friends Reuninted...
The runoff had pushed and carved a trench through the remnants of fall foliage and the well-worn forest floor. It was apparent that there had been a fair amount of precipitation in recent weeks. Not the kind that makes the lawn grow but the kind that cannot all be absorbed into the ground prior to it running along the surface and forming torrents through low spots and hill sides.
Just how much I pondered as I made my way through the bush and down the river valley. Would the prior days rainfall have an impact on my impromptu outing? Surely these tell tale signs of flash flooding were from earlier in the year. Was I walking into a river of despair? Would the day be spent marveling at the nuances of spring and nothing more than a peaceful walk amongst an old friend?
The trail veered hard to the right but with boyish anticipation I ventured forward towards a panoramic vista and subsequent determination of the rivers state. Apprehensive at first I peer over the edge. What lay before me was a river running proud and clean. Gin clear to be exact and to the point that I could count every rock on the river bottom.
The opportunity to fish is a gift that we all take for granted but the opportunity to fish with favorable conditions is truly a blessing. Today I was to be blessed. I could feel my heart rate increase and the sense of urgency to get to the river intensify. With determination I made my way along the trail to rendezvous with an old friend. It had been a long time since we had the pleasure of spending time together and I was anxious to get reacquainted.
It was apparent the spring thaw was hard on the old girl and the forest that adorns her banks. For reason’s unbenounced to me recent years thaws have been uncharacteristically hard on the river basin. Has there been an increased tiling initiative in the region or is it perhaps global warming? These thoughts race though my head as I witness signs of a river that crested 4-5 feet above its current state. One thing I know for certain is that she will find a way to the lake and there is little that will stop her pursuit.
We often forget we are guests on this planet and mother nature is ultimately running the program. The run I decided to start at this morning I hadn't fished in a few years. I recall the many fond memories of fishing this location with friends and of past success undeserving of any one person but this morning wasn't meant to be. Determined to take advantage of the solitude and mile or two of deserted rivershed I promised myself to not waste valuable time on unproductive water.
The days itinerary was lengthy and demanding so I proceeded on around the next bend. This day was to play out in a run and gun fashion spending enough time at each location to recall the memories of the past 7 years successes and good times shared with friends all the while turning a fish or two in the process. I managed to fish my way up to the upper reaches and Genes obsessive new water.
It was only fitting that I was to land the fish of the day on the first drift through his favoured run. Fishing solo offers a different experience than fishing with friends. It affords one time to ponder the random thoughts that flow through our heads and contemplate them to a realization.
Sometimes the realization is personally profound and sometimes bordering ridiculous but nonetheless a process of healing and self cleansing. There is more to fishing than catching fish my friends and to me, as to many I suspect, it provides much needed therapy.
Hiking out I marvelled at the fact that I had not seen a single sole the entire day and how true friends can become reacquainted without as much as a single word. I suspect this will be my only visit to the shire until late in the calendar year. One thing is certain, when I do return she will be there with open and welcoming arms.