As I stepped into the rushing water, the cold instantly filled my wading boots and flooded over my calves. The crystal-clear water rushed up to the bases of trees and shrubs and hid most of the rocks I know in this stretch of river. With that, the typical lies of the high mountain brook trout were also obscured, but I persevered through the snow-melted runoff and casted at any water that looked promising. Afterall, it was wet wading season, finally.
With columbines and lupine gracing the edges of the river, I moved from hole to hole with my trusty 0-weight in hand. I quickly unfurled the tippet and fly and cast into the slower pockets. Nothing. Maybe the water was too cold and moving too fast. On up the river I went in search of a trout willing to leap for my fly.
I made it about a mile upstream to a stretch I knew held many fish. The water was high but a beautiful clear green color. My first cast landed in a tree on my backcast. After some effort to retrieve it, I waded back up, watched my cast closely and laid it down softly. Nothing. I tried all the tempting looking holding water and still nothing. One more cast before my feet froze into blocks, I told myself. And just as my fly dipped under the surface, a gorgeously speckled brook trout came tight on my line.
It is imperative to me to enjoy as mush outdoor time as possible before my next surgery, so I enjoyed every second on my favorite nearby river, but it was time to warm up. I hoofed it back to the truck to put away the rod and fishing pack and get the mountain bike out. A little-known singletrack winds through the forest, across the river and back, which was just enough to raise my heartrate and warm me up.
Double features, we call them – when we can get in two types of activities in in one day. These are some of my very favorite days and now that streams are clearing and the water is coming down, more are on tap to happen. Let’s see how many can happen before I go under the knife. Wish me luck.