I am getting used to this……. showing up late to the river, missing first light, being 11th in line looking for a parking spot. It’s not that I think I have to be the first there or that I will miss out on that window of opportunity where the fish simply turn on and will thrash at a bare hook. The sound of the am alarm sparks the old ticker and I am sitting up like a jack-in-the-box. Then I sink back into the warm cozy comforter and moulded pillow contemplating just how much more time I can afford before I have to get moving. There seems to always be some event happening the night before that keeps me up later than I should when there is an early start to the day ahead.
Last night was no different. Our son’s competitive hockey season has come to an end. Coach had a final skate with the team splitting them up and playing a fun 3 on 3. Afterwards we had gathered for some pizza and nachos. I finally excused myself from the festivities around 11pm. By the time I got home and settled in, it was near midnight. I always think it that it will be fine. There are always Red Bulls or 5-hour shots if need be though more and more, one should really stay away from that stuff.
Traffic on the road was lighter but not the case at the access. I knew I would not have pole position however rolling up to a parade of trucks and small imports; the day was not looking grand. At the bottom of the path, it was a toss-up on whether to veer right or left. I went for the most productive pool I frequent. Of course, three others were occupying the real estate I wanted so I settled for the inside seam on the opposite side of the river. At least I was alone here. It was not really producing as I watched several bent rods and photo sessions across from me.
You do the math and figure that if these three were together, chances are they all came in one vehicle which meant the others must be scattered at the other spots. Most likely, good sections above and below would be occupied so I buckled down and started making adjustments and changing up presentations. Just when action had come to a lull, my float slipped under. A decent fresh fish determined to take me down through the tail out and into the rapids. I will admit, I love using 8lb tippets with the CTS 13.6. It’s really not fair. It was a quick turn back upstream followed with an effortless slide to the bank.
Just when the water was looking to clear up, it seemed to go off. I could have pounded the drifts, change up to a searching leader set up but I don’t enjoy off colour water nor do I fish with that type of presentation anymore. I had picked up another fish and lost the same amount up to now. The wind was bitter and my face and finger tips were tingling despite the Buffs and wool flip ups. How much was another fish worth and did I really need any more satisfaction?
When I sit back and think about the last outing ( as I often do), regardless of the conditions and whether I hooked up with fish, to be able to recoup and regroup at the river’s edge is something I will never take for granted.