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Dream Catcher

Late April 2018

The ice on the bog crackled under my boots.

I hurried.  I was excited.  Yesterday I had only caught 3 fish but 2 were measured in feet (as in more than 2…) and the 3rd was a fat 22-23 inches.  All beautiful browns.  The wily ones.  The ones we dream about.

I had been working hard.  Figuring out where and when they were willing to eat my streamer in the high dirty water.  I had been crushing it with nymph rigs but i wanted that tight line grab—swinging or stripping.  I wanted to tempt Mister Big Brown Trout to come out swinging and I was dialing it in.  Getting closer.  The tape on my burned stripping fingers testified.

I kind of wished I had a client here to put him on a fish of a lifetime.  But, I  was alone.  I like to fish alone, to hike or paddle through the bent lines, to utter no word, to see no other human animal, non verbal communication.

I was heading for a spot.  A specific spot I had fished yesterday.  I wondered if the fish was still there.  I threw in here and there on the hike in but i knew it was a little early and I didn’t try very hard.   I wanted to time it just right.  I knew i would likely only have one chance.

Yesterday I had brought the Trucha almost to my feet.  A Big fish.  As you know I had caught several big fish that day to compare it to… (not to diminish my earlier participants.).  He had appeared out of nowhere just as i was ending my retrieve and almost to cast again, slashed at the fly and i promptly yanked it away from him.

Truthfully, he scared me!  My heart pounded and I swore. (Verbally). I immediately began to parse through my brain, scheming on what was the best next move.  In retrospect, after seeing many of these big fish eat again immediately given the chance, I should have slapped it right back at him.  It works, sometimes…This fish had seen me though I’m quite sure.  I slunk back from the edge and waited for an appropriate interval (?).

I tied on a different colored streamer and said a prayer.  I cast quartering up and threw a mend to get it down, perfect.  I came tight to the bug just as i imagined it was about 2 feet (a good number) in front of where I imagined him to be.  A big bright yellow flash lit up the water where all this imagining had happed.  I held my breath and kept stripping but there was no weight…

My heart sank… but then I laughed.  What a privilege!  And now I know where he lives…