Fishing certainly helps me get through the tough times, but so does thinking about fishing.
This is an awkward time of year for me as I make the transition from lake to river. There's certainly nothing complicated about it logistically. Just take a few fly boxes out of the vest, add a few, pick up a different rod, and go. There's not even a float tube to mess with.
The awkwardness comes with the emotional adjustment. I always miss the lake for awhile; the lake itself, and the Lake Experience. It's the "Where did the Summer go?" problem. You get home at 5 PM, it's November for crying out loud, it's dark and cold, and you still wonder how you got here. The better the Summer, the more you miss it; and this was a very good Summer at the lake.
Eventually though, your thinking starts its Fall migration, and you think less about the lake and what was, and more about the river and what's to come. So you suck it up, layer up, and hit the water.
I've been thinking more about the river, and especially the changes I discovered when I checked it out a few weeks ago. The high water in May and June left a tree in the bridge run, and shelved away a whole section of bank there. The result is a deeper, bigger run tailing into a deeper, bigger pool and backwater.
That has to be good, from a fish perspective. The problem the last time I was there was getting flies down into those mysterious depths. I had come without a sink tip, or weighted flies, or even weights.
So I've already put the sink tip in the vest, and I've been playing at the vise. I got some big tungsten beads, about a pound and a half each, and tied up a few deep divers.
And I wrapped a ton of lead wire on a few more.
I think I can get those down where they need to be. And I'm starting to think about what it feels like when you hit pay dirt. But I'm also thinking about how I'll play a good Steelhead there if I hook one. I used to lead it into the backwater, which is too deep to reach now, and tail it, or beach it on the bank that's no longer there. Now I think I'll have to work it through the strongest current to get it close enough to have a chance to tail it.
That's something to think about.
The main thing is, I'm thinking. Soon now, I'll actually get to the river. With recent events I decided to stay close to home for awhile for Jeremiah. Then I caught a chest cold from Isaiah. But all that is working itself out. It's almost time.
Meanwhile, I'll keep following Robert Redford's advice to Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: "You just keep thinkin', Butch. That's what you're good at."