It was the first day of Spring, and I wanted to be at Rocky Ford Creek at the exact time of the vernal equinox.
On my journey to Rocky Ford I pass right by Lake Lenore, a Lahontan cutthroat fishery. I noticed on my last trip that it was open: fishermen were all over it. This time I stopped and talked to a couple guys who said the fish were in the north and south ends already, something they don't normally do until April.
I made a note to get the float tube ready and give it a try on my next trip, but, as the guys said, "Be ready to squeeze in elbow to elbow."
Rocky Ford was a little more crowded than usual, too. I wasn't the only one who wanted to celebrate the first day of Spring on the water.
I found the fishing slow. I managed to hook a few small fish, but the larger trout were eluding me.
At least I wasn't distracted by constant action, so I was able to keep track of the time and be ready for the moment of the equinox. So here is what the the arrival of Spring looked like at Rocky Ford Creek.
I fished some more, but I wasn't doing very well. The truth is, all the time I wasn't catching anything, or catching another little trout, there was a guy downstream on the opposite bank reeling in one nice fish after another.
My competitive nature kicked in for awhile, and I tried hard to outfish him. But after a time I had to admit that my heart wasn't in it anymore. It was time to accept that sometimes it's someone else's day.
There were two things weighing on my mind. The first was that when I got out of the truck there was a fluid leak under the engine. I didn't open the hood then, but I checked the fluid. It seemed to be plain water, but I couldn't think of any explanation for it. I decided to worry about it later, and now it was later. I wanted to have some daylight for troubleshooting, and some extra time in case someone had to drive down and pick me up.
The other thing on my mind was that I had lost a good friend that week. He had gone in for knee surgery on Monday, and died suddenly early Tuesday morning. His memorial service was going to be the next morning, and I had some things to do in the service that I had been going over and over in my mind.
So I left the water and headed for home. The first test was to see how the truck ran. It ran fine. So now I could stop worrying about that and concentrate on my friend's memorial service.
The view of the mountains to the west fit my mood, and I had some extra time, so I pulled off on a couple of gravel roads to get a better vantage point.
It was good to see those snowy peaks rising out of the misty distance. It was good to remember that they had been there for eons, and would be there for eons more. They helped put everything else in perspective.
It had been a good day, and tomorrow would be a good day, too.