An Eventful Spring

An early May day in the Catskills – we’re not far from that now!

An eventful spring so far: haunting rivers earlier than expected, cane in hand and dry fly at the ready, I am enjoying the gorgeous May weather this first week of April. Trees are budding, and the first tinge of green is appearing on the mountainsides. I saw flowering trees along the Quickway yesterday afternoon.

Standing in the river Sunday I glanced upstream to see a pair of young deer searching for early sprouts along the bank. I am glad to see they made it through a challenging winter. The eagle greeted me upon arrival, and bade me good night as I trod the banks toward home. Quite vocal, though unseen, I returned his greeting with a smile.

Monday afternoon I sat along a favorite stretch of bank, surprised when a full grown wild turkey launched itself from a grove of trees straight across the river. Minutes later his companion deemed it safe to cross and followed. The grouse have been drumming for a couple of weeks. Catskill wildlife has awakened and responded to the early spring, ready to fatten up after lean months in the snowy mountains, and set about their rituals of courting and procreation. All save the trout and their mayflies seem ready.

Strangely I am quite content, with my lust for rising trout subsided, at least until an early stonefly buzzes up from the river and makes me tighten my grip on the cork just a little. Oh, certainly I want to embrace the full measure of spring fishing, but I am simply at peace to be out along bright water again.

If I was privy to the mystical count of those degree days I expect determine the timing of the hatches, it would be easy to sustain that sense of calm. There would not be the delicious excitement of Nature’s uncertainty creating daily rushes of anticipation. Part of me covets such knowledge, though the other part relishes the mystery and expectation.

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