Sunshine and Snowmelt

I enjoyed the late morning sunshine on my river walk just now, listening to the snowmelt trickling down from Point Mountain – the sound of spring awakening. I found the river clear, its rocky margins clearly visible from the elevation of the road, imagining dimples from rising trout out there in the glare.

It is my hope that Quinlan will be the last winter storm of the season, and this week’s run of warmer days will mark the rebirth of spring in the Catskills. For the moment sunshine is warming the rivers, though that trend will moderate as snowmelt increases. It would be ideal if that moisture found its way into the soil and onward to the shallow aquifers that feed the springs in the high country, rather than spilling from the slopes as runoff. We shall see.

Certainly, there will be plenty of unsettled weather before April kisses us hello, though every angler wishes the best for his rivers during the tumultuous change of the seasons.

Here’s hoping that there are more nymphs wriggling in the gravel than last season’s hatches might lead us to believe; that the mountain tributaries hold a treasure trove of new trout fry that will find their way downstream in their time; and no spring floods shall disturb this rebirth within the rivers.

Dana Lamb, in his “The Ides of March” from Woodsmoke and Watercress, gave us his prayers for spring: “I’m looking for the April thunderstorms that wash away the drab dull colors of the wintertime. I’m looking for the spring to break wide open; to hear the phoebe and the robin and the meadowlark; to see and smell the violets and the blossoms on the apple trees; to watch the swallows sweeping low across the satin surface of the stream; to wait for ripples of the rising trout, as evening falls and nymphs emerge, and all the world is sweet with scent and song and gentle colors.”

I’m lining reels and waxing rods while the sun streams in through my window today, for there is hope on the breeze that winter has bid us farewell!

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