The day was sublime. The sign in town said 66 degrees. It would have been a perfect day to make the trip to Rocky Ford, but I had things I needed to do. After that I still had time to get to the river for awhile before the soccer game. I knew Isaiah wasn't going to play today, so I was going to see how I did at the river. If I was catching fish, I'd stay. If not, I'd go check out the soccer game.
I decided to drive downstream a couple of miles to the bridge and familiar waters. I hadn't fished this stretch since last summer before the move. It was good to be back.
The river is up a bit. Once I was in it I estimated it to be up over a foot. The current is proportionately more lively.
I worked the Bridge Run awhile. I was thinking steelhead, but I would have been happy to catch anything--a fat smallmouth, a strong trout, even a whitefish. I was fishing for life.
I waded upstream along the bank toward The Glide.
I took a pass through The Glide, but from the opposite side I usually fish. Seemed worth a try. And the current was just fast enough to make a crossing seem dicier than I was in the mood for.
I worked my way back upstream a ways. Midges were thick on the water and in the air and I watched for rises. This is a prime area for pods of whitefish and even smallmouth to feed on top, but I saw none today. I did see an old basketball drifting past, and a big blue plastic drum where it had washed up on the tip of the island. It was a windy, gusty day. That could explain the drum, and, who knows, maybe the basketball, too.
I came to a beaver slide and decided to climb out.
Up above the river the south wind blew with nothing to slow it down, and it did its best to blow me back into the river as I wended my way to the truck.
I thought about the fishing. There had been no signs of life at the end of my line. The river still seemed dead, or sleeping. But, like the field, it will come to life. Soon spring growth will completely hide the stark signs of winter's harshness.
I got the thermos out of the truck and sat above the river under the bridge. I was sheltered from the wind, and the sun was warm.
I reflected on the swallow ghost towns around the bridge pylons. There were flocks of killdeer all up and down the shorelines, and once a single bird against the sky had made me think for a moment that the swallows were back. Not yet, but soon. It won't be long before life inhabits everything again.
Meanwhile, there are warming days, waking rivers, greening fields, and soccer games. It was time to head for the soccer field. Plenty of life there.