Standing In A River, Waving A Stick…but not very far out in that river

A boat ride just might make more sense…

Seventy-five degrees, though the trees are still bare, there is evidence of a few early buds here and there. I got my legs wet yesterday, though river levels are still high, they are trying to round into shape. Today’s forecast calls for thunderstorms, with a chance for some to be severe, so everything in the angler’s world rests in the clouds.

I just finished up a baker’s dozen of flies headed for the river today, at least if the weather allows. I’ll try to wade once again. I have been caught in thunderstorms during a river float a couple of times, and I would as soon not repeat the experience.

The troubles with wading high water, and to be honest there are a number of them, have got to be reckoned with. The Red Gods tend to dictate much of this, particularly their rule that any trout which might happen to rise will be at least near the limit of one’s casting range, if not just beyond it. My best casting requires calm concentration and comfort with my surroundings, and wading in high, fast, cold early season rivers isn’t a comfortable situation, thus it tends to require most of my concentration.

Flies tied on a wish and a prayer: flies for fishing in or on the surface. Oh, that I might have an opportunity to use them!

The Red Gods are smiling, for there’s a good trout coming up out beyond that sunken boulder ninety feet away. If I relax and don’t succumb to the gremlin on my shoulder screaming “More Power, I can place a nice cast out there at ninety feet, but the fast current washing the pebbles out from under my boot are distracting and make it harder to ignore the gremlin. Umph! The fly line rockets out there and kicks awkwardly, dropping the fly at 88 1/2 feet. I repeat that cast three times before I try to force myself to calm down, slow down, and cast the right way. The grins on the faces of the Red Gods widen with each cast, until I regain my calm and lay that fly out there delicately at ninety feet for a perfect drift. The Red Gods counter by sending a twenty mile per hour wind gust into my casting shoulder just as I release my next cast…

Sound like a familiar early season scenario? I’m sure it does. On the good days we persevere, relax, take a couple of steps up out of the hole we have waded into, set our feet firmly and wait for the calm spells between wind gusts to cast. Here’s to the good days, though the frustrations of battling Mother Nature help make fly fishing rewarding, for they make it ever more challenging.

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