Sunday, August 26, 2012

Trout Lake Report: For the First Time

It still seems like a miracle that you can go to the same lake at the same time to do the same things and it's never the same. Each and every day here stands alone, singular in its shadings of beauty, unique in its experience. It's a place where you don't need to try to live in the moment, bending your will to the task, as though will had anything to do with it. You simply go, and be there, and the knowledge slowly awakens that the moment is living in you, opening you up from the inside out.

This August day is surprisingly cool, a north wind bringing chilled Canadian air with it. There is a frost warning out for towns in the highlands. You begin in shirtsleeves, but it feels good to put the jacket on when the sun goes down behind the mountain.

You have a muddler on, and swing around through the channel to work the weed beds along a sheltered shoreline. But today the fish aren't there. They're out in open water, set up to work the riffles fanning out from the channel. So you kick out through the weed beds and join them.

They want the muddler. They take it as it bobs in the riffle. They take it as you strip it in. They take it.

You try another shoreline, but the fish aren't there. You go back out where they are.

You wonder about the north end of the channel, and kick through to check it out.

There are waves here, and you set up with your back to the wind and crisscross the swells with the muddler. There are fish here, too. You catch one and release him without a photo. You catch another and get him to the float tube, but he brings fifty pounds of weeds with him. He twists off the hook while you're readying the camera for a shot of fish and weeds.

You clean the giant ball of weeds off the line and fly and kick with the wind back through the channel. On the way a big flock of swallows arrives. You lean back and look up. You're still looking up when the wind brings you through the channel.

The swallows swoop south, and then swoop back again, and then swoop back south and seem to pass beyond the moon. They take the wind with them.

The evening settles in on itself, and you look up and think for a moment that the swallows have returned. But it's a colony of bats, dozens, maybe hundreds of bats, dancing in the twilight sky. They swoop down and begin to feed on the insects that are hatching now in great numbers. A light breeze springs up, and it feels as though it's generated by their countless wingbeats. The trout are feeding, too, their rises running like quicksilver in the moonlight.

You are enchanted by it all. You almost forget to fish. You think about trying to identify the hatch and changing flies. But you're more than content to leave the muddler out there, and watch the bats and the moon and the silver rises.

It's as though you are seeing them for the first time.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. The swallows and bats. It's interesting for me,over here, seeing your angle of light change. Nice one.