It is Friday October 21st and 28 degrees in Crooked Eddy. Rivers have felt the chill of advancing autumn – my bones bear witness! I have enjoyed a last late glimpse of the magic of the dry fly, and watched it pass into memory.
Yesterday I stood shivering as the winds blew whitecaps upriver, my wet hands icy from handling the line and fly. No rises greeted my gaze during the calm spells, and truly I did not expect them. My thermometer told the tale, the gin clear current registering forty-four degrees at half past noon. Now there is a brief warming trend knocking at our door, teasing me with empty promises.
Though my soul wants to believe a day of warmer breezes and sunshine might cause the magic to stir, to return for one last golden moment, my heart tells me the season has passed. Yet I am still called to the rivers…
I begin and end each season in the same manner, walking riverbanks and searching for the dream, and there are always strings of days that I do not find it. River temperatures in the forties seem to be the constants during these searching walks. In spring, that run of days eventually ends with the first rise of the season. In autumn though, the end always comes with acceptance that winter shall rule the rivers for nearly half the year.
Fighting the elements yesterday morning I cast through the wind thanks to a seven weight line that brought forth the power of my Kiley bamboo, driving the streamer out to swing through the fallen leaves. Yet sitting on the bank to let the sun warm me just a little, I knotted a size 20 olive with hope in my heart. Blind hope.