Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Small Town River

The Small Town River

Slot against the ledge
At lunch on Friday I ate by the water. Ann and I sat on the back deck of a restaurant. A river ran below us. I discussed with her the form of the river. It ran over boulders and shelf. The water looked like water that could hold trout. I had not fished this water before. I told her that I thought the river held trout. I ate my pulled pork sandwich.

On Sunday I went to church in the Small Town. After worship I did my chores. I walked down to the porch. Pollen lay on the table. Water rings were made in the pollen from a dripping glass now gone. The pollen was yellow on both sides. I brushed the pollen aside. I read the Sunday paper. I was ansty. I thought of the water.

The sun was high when I left the house. Clouds were gathering and rain would come soon. I went to the water in my car. The wind blew through the windows. I was comfortable in my shirtsleeves. I thought about why I had worn cotton. It may not have been the right choice.

I parked downstream of the water I saw on Friday. My waders were warm and the rain had begun to fall. The rain jacket made me sweat. I walked to the water directly avoiding the underbrush by taking the path. The rain clouds made reading the water difficult. There was no swamp nearby but some current came out of a pipe above the ledge.

A Brown Trout
The water level was neither high nor low. It was at a level that could be fished well. The early summer had been wet and so flows were not yet low. The water was still cool. The current was against the far bank in a slot below a ledge.

The ledge climbed thirty feet above the stream surface. A few pine and oak and other trees grew from it's cracks. An ancient oak had recently fallen from the top of the cliff. It was now well downstream from its stump. The tree was blocking half the flow below the slot. A deep hole guarded by its branches and leaves made fishing there futile.

The slot held no fish willing to take my fly. I moved upstream to the next run at the bend. The far bank was very shallow. The ledge resisted the water well. Close to me the water was strewn with boulders of a size that provided good cover. The channel was deeper here at the bank upon which I stood.

A Brown Trout took the Caddis Pupa fly with force and fought to the net. This river held small fish at other places where it wandered but here it held a brute. This trout would have provided a good meal but I was full and I returned it. He had no relatives in the run and I moved upwards again and then again to the pocket water.

I walked through the shallow water at the bank. I struggled through the bamboo that grew thick at certain places. Too warm, I took off my jacket and lashed it on my waist. I sat upon a rock in the rain and smoked a cigar and had some water from my bottle. Two large pockets churned before me.

I cast into the pockets with no luck. I moved to the other side of the stream, added weight to my leader, and caught a Rainbow. I was right about these pockets. This Rainbow was larger than the Brown and fought better and attracted onlookers.

A Rainbow Trout
A man stood with another man above me on the rock wall at the stream's bank. He commented on the strength and size of the fish. He offered me four dollars for the fish. I thought "Four friggin dollars, are you nuts? Do you know how much my gear costs! Four hundred dollars maybe. Four friggin' dollars, my eye". I smiled and returned the Rainbow to the water.

Up ahead was a bridge with a deep pool near its abutment. I moved up to the bank and looked into the hole. No sun shone into its depths so it was hard to discern movement. I could not see any fish nor the flash of any activity. If a fish was there, I would have caught him.

My time had passed and I was due home. I walked downstream retracing my steps. I walked through the shallows and the bamboo. I was quicker now that my feet knew the places to fall and the places to avoid.
Green Caddis Pupa

I could not resist another attempt at the slot near the bend but I had already caught its one fish. No others replaced it. I walked back along the ledge pool. It still looked like good water but I did not fish it again. It was dead to me, at least.

I returned to the car and peeled off the layers that protected me from the water. I was as damp as if I had not worn them at all. I put away my gear. I thought about the day and was thankful and thoughtful. Good fishing is always relative and this one was closer kin than others.


  1. A wonderful post.

    Imagine, Z Fishers small town fresh fish market.

    Great looking fly.

  2. OK Z, I think that's enough. You've made your point. And I'm glad to hear that you're back from The War.


  3. Thx Brook. Glad you enjoyed it.

    T.J. Just the tips, baby, just the tips.

  4. Great Post. That rainbow is beautiful and healthy looking. Nice pics. Tight Lines.

  5. "Water rings were made in the pollen from a dripping glass now gone." LMAO!

    "There was no swamp nearby but some current came out of a pipe above the ledge." Beware copyright law, sir.

  6. I may have finally found my voice. Well, maybe not, but give the style a try. It's actually quite a challenge to get the story right when you're trying to avoid adjectives and any sort of emotion (and failing). Just imagine you're back from The War and are not writing about something.

    Take the EMH challenge!

  7. I enjoyed this entry. It was direct and to the point. You caught a brown trout but did not eat it. Then you caught a rainbow and did not sell it. A couple of times you used commas. I might have liked it better without commas I think. I'm glad you saw a river and pursued fish within its waters. I am restless and need to fish. You write good.

  8. Perfect! Yeah, I just couldn't resist the comma.

  9. I'm not sure how I feel about what is happening here.