Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Looking for Open Water

I walked into the gift shop to sign in to fish the private stream.  In a state crowed with people, only two people are allowed to fish this stretch per day.  A retired volunteer looked up from her paper "You want to go fishing...Today?!".  I thought that she looked at me with a sense of amazement that anyone could be so bold to fish on such a cold day.  But quickly I realized that no, she thought I was an idiot "You realize that that it was 25 degrees for the past week."  I laughed politely, agreed that it was hopeless, and walked down the trail towards the stream.

As I hiked down the valley, I knew that it was more likely that I would find the hidden valley of Shangri-La than open water.  My wife had her nose already buried in her clothing.  “I thought you said it was going to be warm today!” she murmured from behind her scarf .  I sometimes feel bad that I drag her along on these outings.  I use poetry to persuade her as we walk down the river bank, referring to our fishing in the winter as a knight errant in search of adventure.

My favorite pools that are surprisingly deep for this small brook looked like they were frozen all the way to the bottom, skating rinks.  The only water that was flowing was fast runs that were unlikely to hold anything but dancing sunlight among the rocks.  At least there were no clouds today.  But doesn't every fisherman at least hold on to faith that a trout will reward your effort by showing itself flashing in the fast current?   Maybe a rainbow will be just under the ice shelf where he could see your slowly drifting fly.  Not today, the clerk in the warm gift shop was right.