It's getting late.
And my scotch is empty.
And my lids are heavy.
And I've drawn blood.
And still I tie.
With some tetanus-like bug roaming through my bloodstream, in early November I find myself diseased. I'm thinking about Steel and what they eat and where they live far too often.
I see the bobbing headlamps in the crisp, blue, pre-dawn dark making their way to water.
I can see hemlock shaded runs that in strong light disclose their bounty but whose murky depths are usually covered by damp skies.
And my brothers lining the banks. Casting. Stepping. Chucking. Ducking.
Heads swivel in unison as a hoot and a rip of water signals mono unzipping the steel beneath.
So many hours in a car just to stand in weather that'd blast the paint off a battleship but we go without flinching and without concern for anything but whether they're there or not and despite reports we believe beyond hope that our luck will be better. Fresh fish will push up and, no, no, we will not be denied the zing of adrenaline and the grins that do not fade.
Soon. Very soon. Maybe a good night's sleep and a dozen or so conference calls from now my brain will fully embrace Steel.
As I've said before, I am not a Steelheader.
And I watched the Steelhead Public Service Announcement.
I am not a Steelheader.
But still I tie.