Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Finding Color

Finding Color


  I decided to take advantage of the 60 degrees March weather. I grabbed my 7’ 3 weight Diamondglass rod and took off to search for color.

  The soft creamy clouds hovered above beneath the baby blue sky. I didn’t see the sun but it’s warmth was evidently present. As I looked out towards the creek the bare treed forest reassured me it is still a part of winter.

 While I was assembling the Diamondglass rod a guy with a spinning rod returned to the only other vehicle in the lot. When I got down to the creek I had it all to myself, at least for a little while. It wasn’t long before my 3 weight rod was swaying and bowing like the flimsy pine branches wavering in the breeze. Color came to the net in form a trout, a brook trout.

 The narrow creek water fluidly flowed clear rippling over rocks and submerged wood. Along the far bank the water calmed away from the main flow. Rough water surged faster between bigger rocks and deep enough not too expose the bottom settled fish. As my Woolly Bugger swings at times I catch sight of a fish or two dart towards my offering. Sometimes they appear to strike it as if toying with it. Other times it’s just a quick ‘look see’ and a refusal. Sometimes it’s a quick subtle tug. The slow rod action arcs easily without any backbone on a take. Because of this my hook sets have to be forceful and as quick as the take. The rod bows deep in the butt section and at times I see the trout turn away and the rod straightens with a limp line. When I get the good hook set the rod flexes and wiggles protrusively. The brook trout tugs and dart within the rough water sometimes coming to the surface with open mouth trying to dislodge the hook. Within reach I extend my arm and, with the rod arced to the max, net the colorful trout. It’s sides shimmer in the daylight. The orange fins catch your eyes immediately. The yellow spots on it’s silvery blue skin and variegated back are attractive and only appear on such a trout.

After a few more catches I decide to give up my claim to the young folks upstream.
 I look down creek and see there is plenty of good water to find trout. As I wade down creek I make long casts letting the bugger swing. At time I have to concentrate and loop a good cast low so my bugger flips beneath hanging limbs and plops near the far bank. My offering starts to swing with an arced line towards the main current. The arc line momentarily shortens with a slight stoppage. I rear back on the glass rod and the line tightens and the struggle is on. Another colorful brook trout dashes and scurries within the cold water making the rod sections dance in delight.

 Down creek I come to a rush of water that enters a deep pool. A thick tree trunk extends from the bank side half submerged atop the water surface. The main current rushes towards the trunk and slaps against and underneath it. From there the flow banks against land and then bends to the left downstream.

  Casting into the slow section of the deep pool has no takers. I cast a couple times in the rushing water and let the current take my offering down creek and deep into the pool beneath the trunk. I feel a tightness on the line but miss the take. A couple more casts and drifts and I hook into a fish. The rod sections bows and flexes as I retrieve the battling trout from the deep pool. To my surprise I land a nice colorful rainbow hold over. It’s vibrant pink streak is apparent in contrast to it’s black spotted light olive body.

  After the release I pull from my vest a robusto cigar. I unwrap the cellophane wrapper and tuck the wrapper in a pocket. I reach for my lighter as I look down creek.

 After the light up I continue on searching for more color.

  The hemlocks now line the stream more often. Their short blunt olive leaves add color to the winters leafless forest trees. With the breeze their twig like branches sway back and forth above the water. A hazard no doubt but their presence shades the water beneath for needed cover of the trout. Here and there I pick off a brookie and come to catch another rainbow in a deep pool.

 As the sun fades and the air gets cooler I walk my way back upstream through the forest. I reach the section of water I first started. A couple of lads are fishing the section of water where I was so blessed with hook ups and fighting trout. I watch as one catches and lands a trout. His long fly rod barely arcs the tip section as he reaches down to net the trout. They leave soon after.

  I cast a few times in the section they vacated without a hook up. I step onto the bank and head to my truck. I lay the rod on my tailgate and take a bottle of beer from the cooler. While putting away my gear and changing clothes I listen to the riffling water. A breeze causes the flimsy pine branches to sway. Dry leaves skitter across the open yard. I climb in my truck and call it a day. I found color.


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