It seems like its been too damn long since I have been fishing. In reality it HAS been too damn long since I have been fishing. I missed out on some the best the north west fall has to offer and found myself staring the tumultuous beginning of winter steelhead season right in the face.
I had a damn good summer and fall for flinging flies and now its time to pay penance; to cold rivers, and a fish that is on the verge of extinction. Frigid cold days swinging a fly that resembles nothing found in nature will cleanse the memories of easy summer fish from my mind. long - cold hours of wondering if my fly missed a fishes' strike zone by inches or feet, (or if there was a strike zone in the first place) will melt my confidence as a fellow who knows how to catch a fish or two.
The only pleasure I am allowed, is the "aaahhh" feeling as my running line snaps tight against the spool of my reel after making a good cast, and perhaps the resolution that I did my best after swinging through a good piece of steelhead water. May be if I am supremely lucky, or blessed- a legendary fish the color of steel will see fit to smash my simple offering of fur, feathers, barbless hooks.
To land it would be a hope far too ambitious and greedy for a neophyte such as my self. just slam the fly, shake your head, and say goodbye. Thats all I want. That seems to be all I live for this time of year. A small token to prove; that yes, I am indeed learning. yes I am doing something right after all, and this festering cesspool of insecurities that resembles my own wader clad self while "trying to hit it right" is only an illusion created by a fishery on the brink of collapse, and a population of fishermen reaching overflow, or a body on the edge of hypothermia.
Until that "SLAM" which I know is waiting for me somewhere and somewhen in a winter river, I practice the cast, the swing, and pay my dues in a world where sometimes there isn't a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or a steelhead ready to bite.
Either way its good to be back. Its good to be cold. and its good to be fishing the winter.
copyright Michael R Thompson and Bad Fish (http://imabadfish2.blogspot.com), 2009 to present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bad Fish with appropriate and specific direction to the original content