I had a difficult time sleeping last night, the dreams an exciting aftermath of intriguing reading and consequential ideas for a new project. With such stimulation, temptation to put the slippers back on and steal away to the dungeon postpones the deepest sleep until the alarm can disrupt. Except that I woke with a start two minutes before the set 0500.
I was going fishing.
There already was light in the east. I made coffee, ate a banana and an energy bar, loaded the rig, poured the joe and hit the road. Out the door in under twenty minutes. This from a guy who usually takes his time waking, a couple cuppas, a constitutional and quiet for at least an hour. I guess I was excited.
The ride east and upstream was very nice, spots of fog and few cars. I took the back way. I made it to the fishing hole and had a line in before the sun crested the mountains.
I have a confession to make: I don’t find fishing all that relaxing.
Multiple snags with braided line. Monofilament breaks off with comparative ease, but not this stuff. And as I’m tugging, I hear a noise not unlike a slight cracking sound. Could it be? Yes, possibly, for I am using a pole that snapped in two places last year. I had it fixed. Surely not again. I convinced myself, surely not.
No luck at hole #1, I thought to head further upstream. The weather had been exceptionally hot, and the steelhead most likely would be in the coldest water possible, a few miles on. I packed to leave.
Some time ago I posted pictures of the rocks on which I stood and stepped down from a distance of two feet or so. I had gauged my momentum to step, step, step, but neglected to factor in a right leg lift to clear a broken tree root resulting in a scraped right shin, left knee and jammed right thumb. At least the gear had been protected.
So, up the grade, taking care to not tumble back, and onward to the truck. I note that I am less winded than passed years.
Upstream would require wading, and I had the proper footwear. The water felt good on my shin and knee, but it was warmer than I expected. Too warm for the fish, but on I tread to a midpoint on a gravel bar a foot below the water’s surface and a good third of the way across the river. I had good position on the deeper south bank with sizable but submerged boulders behind which the fish can rest and wait for food to float by.
The same boulders have to be navigated with care, lest a spoon-type lure get its hook wedged or otherwise caught up, and a stern tug or two shatters an already (apparently) weakened rod.
Maybe a ten-foot rod is by nature fragile. I will not concede that possibility when I write the manufacturer today.