Moments: Early Riser

Fishing is, as is life, made up of moments. Moments of pure joy, like landing a lunker that extends outside your net, and moments of pure unadulterated frustration after snagging and snapping your third fly off on the same willow bush.

One of my favorite moments in fly fishing comes during fishing dry flies. Not just any dry fly, but a #12 Stimi. The amalgamation of 8 different simulated bugs, that some how makes a fish say, “could it really be a dream come true, a Caddis-Hopper-Mayfly bug?! I gotta…” Big enough to see through any glare, and floaty enough to withstand most currents, it makes any fisherman look like he belongs on gold metal water.

But back to the moment. It usually happens for whomever is first on the river, as the sun has just started to rise. There is a slight mist evaporating off the surface of the water. The river somehow feels like it is just awaking from a slumber, almost meandering, even though it is moving the same speed it always does. It is the stillness of this moment.

Your hands are slightly chilly, the reward for getting up early I suppose. You have slipped on your waders, rigged up, swigged your last swag of coffee, and just stepped into your sanctuary. Nirvana.

Now if this moment happens on cast number one, you should take a moment and acknowledge your greatness. But it is just as sweet if it happens on cast 50, although slightly more frustrating… “are there any goddamn fish in this river?!”

You cast out your line. Hit the perfect bubbly run, as the water curls around a stone sleeping below the surface. The angle of the slightly risen sun, cuts through the water in a way that somehow makes you have slightly X-ray vision. Suddenly, a curved shadow floats to the surface. “I didn’t know stones float,” but then you see it. The forehead of a 16” rainbow, breaches the surface, without a care in the world. Almost as if they too just got the memo the sun came up.

Slurp. The fight is on.

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