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Friday, November 4, 2011

When One Fish Makes a Perfect Day

With each step, crunching mud confirmed why my ears hurt so quickly. The cold meant I would have the creek to myself most of the day.

I always hope to catch a lot of fish when I go fishing. Doesn't everyone? I think I do; I'm actually not even sure anymore.

Seeing no rises I put on a Mayfly Emerger. Yes, I did. Because I wanted to. Not because there was any good reason. I like seeing the takes.

The creek was down and there was no wind; I could see fish holding. I could see them ignore my fly with studied indifference as it floated over them. Who knows, maybe it was disdain or contempt, either way they weren't about to take my small dry.

After five hours of floating that Mayfly over fish I finally changed to a Scud.

Thirty minutes later a Trout took my Scud; he just rapped it. What a great surprise. I had cast most of the line so saying he took me into the backing isn't as impressive as it is when the take is close in. He headed straight across the creek. I reeled him in near to me and he took off upstream. Getting into the backing the second time was much more impressive since he had to go through all of the line. Dang that was nice. Since there was virtually no wind I could hear the fish splash and the reel peel out line. Dang that was nice too. There was no one else on the creek so the splashes and the reel seemed louder.

It was in so many ways it was a perfect day. At the end of the day I could say, "I caught a fish! YES!" I felt so good about that. I realized I didn't need to say, "Well I only caught one fish today but there have been days when I caught this many or that many, or ones that were this big or that big or whatever." I didn't feel good in some sort of conceptual or philosophical way. I wasn't forcing myself to be satisfied with less than hoped for results. Even though I was fishing water that is often heavily fished I was there alone. It was all very solitary. That added tremendously to my enjoyment. I caught a fish and I felt very good. Period.

The fish was strong and healthy. After taking me into the backing twice and posing for a short video he swam away.

There was probably still two and half more hours of light. I could have kept fishing but I didn't. I felt that if I caught another fish it would actually dilute my experience. All that it took was one strong fish to take my fly, run into the backing a couple times, jump, slosh, splash and then come to the net, and I was happy. I probably shouldn't say all that it took was just one fish for me to be happy. It took one fish for me to be happy and that's a lot.

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