I’m rusty. My casts are shit and I’m not hitting a single target. Luckily, small stream fishing affords you those kinds of errors, and I need all help I can get on this day.
Only fishing a few hours every six weeks or so will do that to you. It will put you right back into rookie mode, wondering why the hell you ever picked up a fly rod to start with. Way too late on the hook set, or way too early because I’m too eager to prove I’ve still got it. The trout are willing to play, apparently, I am not.
But then, out of nowhere, it starts to feel smooth again. Casts feel good, flies are laying down soft and that beautiful dead drift is creeping in the current just screaming for the take. A willing participant steps up and goes for it, with no idea that I’m waiting on the other end to introduce myself. It’s magical when a small stream trout rises up and takes a dry fly.It’s magical when a small stream trout rises up and takes a dry fly.
I set the hook, feel the tension and try to keep composure long enough to bring this fella to hand. Success. He isn’t huge, but he is beautiful, and he helped me realize exactly why I’m here to begin with. Another 6 or 7 of those experiences and all is the right the world on this day, at that time.
As I shook the rust off, I was pleased with things. I need work and I need to get back to my days of consistent fishing. But in that short time on the river, I was able to remove myself from the day-to-day grind and truly enjoy myself in the midst of beautiful scenery and beautiful fish.
I’ll take it. And as I prepare for my next outing, whenever that might be, I’ll keep this one in my pocket to remind myself that everything is just fine when I’m in my place, on that river, doing what I love to do.