Hooking Up with the Rest of It
A couple of friends and I recently took a quick road trip to fish a stream north of Truckee. Actually, the stream is more like a creek, and like a number of creeks in the Sierra, its game fish consist mostly of brook trout. Because of the distance from town, we had never visited this particular water, so were curious about how it might fish. And of course, given that brook trout are among the least wily of the fish that will take a fly, we were anticipating lots of hookups.
Well, the hookups didnít quite materialize as hoped, probably because we were fishing under a noon sun on a warm summer day, and much of the water lacked shade. I was lucky enough to come across a stretch where fish rose sporadically to huge black-bodied spinners. (I later learned these were Siphlonurus mayflies, Black Drakes, an insect I had not observed in all my years of angling.) Some of the brookies were willing to accept my searching pattern, a low-in-the-water caddis emerger, as an adequate imitation, so I brought several fish to hand.
But even with desultory angling, the trip was a success. I was with two congenial friends, we were exploring water unknown to us, and the setting was alluring, with a stream meandering through a mountain meadow lush with life, its tall grasses swaying languidly in the breeze, dark pines enfolding the valley, cotton-ball clouds drifting through the clean deep-blue sky overhead. How could one not enjoy being here?
Yes, itís nice to catch a lot of fish. Yes, itís nice to catch big fish. But success in these terms is never a given. Maybe simply being in the moment, in a place that captures the heart, is enough.
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