Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Trout Lake Report: Like Christmas Morning

You wade through another busy stretch, then find a chance to get back to the lake. The day is warmer and dryer than on the inaugural trip.

You go back to the north end again. Just as on the first trip, there is a strong wind pushing up waves, but this time it's blowing out of the south.

You kick over to the other side, put the wind to your back, and prospect the shoreline with a big greased muddler on top.

Once again you stop at the inlet and break down the water with extra attention, but the fly is the only thing swimming.

You continue to work the shoreline, ignoring the big waves that splash down your neck. The fish are nowhere to be found. You find yourself slipping into that irrational opening weekend anxiety: what if this time the big crowds literally cleaned the lake out?

In spite of that, you're having a glorious time. The only thing missing are the fish, but your better self tells you they're in there, try harder. So you try some indicator fishing. Still no results other than pleasure at the new non-slip indicators you picked up the other day. The little victories keep you going.

You're beginning to philosophize about the meaning of getting skunked on only your second trip of the season, and to moralize about the positive effects of delayed gratification when the wind abruptly sits down and a few fish finally show themselves.

You tie on a new pheasant tail parachute and get your trout. The day feels complete.

But of course you keep fishing. And now comes that deep contentment at simply being there with a dry fly resting on its hackles on the calm surface and your hands already smelling of fish.

The fly gets some action, but you don't hook up on every hit, and that's just fine.

The evening is winding down.

You kick across to the other side.

You tie the muddler back on and begin to fish the shoreline back toward the take out. You're remembering the many good fish you've taken along here in years past, including some stellar browns. You're hoping you might find your first brown of this new season. You get a big hit, a hookup, and a good fight. It's not a brown, it's a Pacquiao of a rainbow.

The first brown--along with a thousand other thrills and pleasures--are still to come. This time of year is like when you're a kid, you've just woke up, and you remember it's Christmas morning.

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