No, no. Not the kind you eat. The kind you use as an excuse to avoid that pitfall of adulthood: Responsibility.
Back when I had a salaried job, I was fortunate to work within short driving distance of two Class 1 WTMAs. Many were the warm spring days when I’d take an elongated lunch to wet a line. Well, just because I’m working from home now doesn’t mean I couldn’t do likewise. And so today, I did.
I hadn’t been to either of these streams in years. “Hello, old friend,” I said to the first as I stepped out of the truck. The water was a perfect height, clear, 44 degrees, and there were midges and small grey stones flitting about. After last summer’s drought I wasn’t sure what to expect. So I decided to hedge my bets by fishing a size 14 beadhead white mini-bugger. I never met the wild trout who didn’t like a flashy streamer in early spring.
Hello, Mr. Stone. You successfully navigated to this rock without falling prey to Mr. Trout’s jaws. Fly and be free!
It felt both familiar and comforting to cast, mend, and swing that fly across my old stomping grounds. Nothing in a few of my favorite pools, then – bump – was that a fish or the bottom? Next cast I’m on with a lovely little brown, about five inches long. A fish to hand is currency, and with that trout my trip was bought and paid for. More nothing as I waded downstream. Then, near the tailout of a languid pool – was that a rise? You betcha. Small fish, smutting, and the best solution I had in my box was a size 20 Winter/Summer caddis. First drift, up he comes, but the hook point found no purchase. And that was that. Try as I might, I couldn’t coax a reprise.
With my time budget melting like the remaining snow pack, I motored over to WTMA number two. Fished a run where I’d had some early season success before, but drew a blank. I was just getting ready to leave when I talked myself into venturing about 50 yards downstream. There, in some shallow riffles, I hooked another small brown who liberated himself as I pulled him out of the water. Then, in the run below, bang! Classic hit on the strip. A stunning brown about ten inches long, his tummy the color of aged cheddar and pectoral fins the size of kayak paddles.
So what if I would have to work tonight?