I made my way to the lake around noon. The air was cool, as the snow from the previous night hung quietly on the needles of the resting pines. There was peace in the air, and I was the only one there to feel its presence. This might be the last opportunity I get to fish this lake for the year, and I was happy I wasn’t too late.
Noticing an icy film hugging small sections of the shoreline, I took a drink of water, and quickly started to rig my rod in anticipation of casting to some cruising greenbacks. My hands were cold from not having worn gloves, so tying knots with the 6x tippet proved challenging. In an act of defiance, my fingers proved futile, and took the likeness of frozen sausage, rather than sure footed tools of the trade. But after some struggle I was ready to go, and I made a mental note to put gloves in the pack for next time.
I started on the east side of the lake, working my way north in a counter clockwise direction. Being too cold to wade, I worked hard to find areas to fish that had enough room for a modified backcast. But for the most part, I stuck with roll casting, as not to disturb the traps behind me. I worked the water hard for the next hour or so, rewarded with a few hungry cutthroat that rose to a size twenty Griffith’s Gnat. It was thirty five degrees, and the fish were looking up. The cold that had gripped my body upon arriving at the lake was gone, and was now just an afterthought as I continued to cast unapologetically to these colorful creatures.
Reading a few of my favorite blogs the night before, there seemed to be something in the air. Re-evaluation. Re-evaluation of the reason and reasons us bloggers choose to share this type of activity. For some, blogging is a way to share their adventures through written word, others share their photography through beautiful images captured in the moment, and some like to share their knowledge. Knowledge gained through years of both successes and failures.
Why me? Why do I choose to share these experiences that up until seven months ago, were nothing more than a routine? The easy answer would be that I like to write. Maybe it is that simple. Or, it could be that my wife had become bored with the stories that I brought home of every trip I took up the canyon. Another possibility is that I wanted to network with a group of people that share a similar passion. And through this forum, I would be able to not only share my tales of success and failure, I would have the opportunity to learn from others that have fly fished a lot longer than I have. But more importantly, maybe the outdoors is meant to be shared.
As these thoughts were processed, I continued to fish. The sun had now started to push through the clouds, making brief appearances that both teased and warmed. The feeding fish had slowed down, for what I imagined as heavy eyelids from a larger than normal lunch. But more probably, the fish were simply choosing to feed on the next round of insects that were making their way to the surface.
A few reties later, my efforts went unnoticed. The sun was hidden by some new clouds, and a freshening chill could be felt as the light snow was blown off the pines behind me. The lake lay still in front of me, as the wind shifted directions. There was solitude in this silence, and my thoughts went blank.
The quiet was broken by the sound of something large breaking branches and making its way not fifty yards behind me. Not wanting this to be my last shared experience, I started making noise, lots of noise.
As the sound faded off into the distance, I tried to steady my nerves. And looking out into the water, I saw a fish near the surface. I made a cast. And as the line landed softly, I noticed a large silhouette making its way along the west side of the lake…
This is why I do this. All of it.