Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Rough Notes from the Woods 2
This is the first time I’ve been alone since I met the first two additions to my camping party yesterday afternoon. I’ve spent a good part of the day trout-fishing with no luck. I’ve had a few nibbles but nothing for the firepit.
I tried fishing like most people fish today – yellow scented dough bait, pink scented salmon eggs, and a few white grub imitators. The overall logic here is to find the big holes that are stocked with O. mykiss and cast these baits at it till it is intrigued enough to bite. I’m quick to discover that this isn’t my kind of fishing. I enjoy a more natural approach to being a woodsman and want to be closer to the natural processes of the forests and streams. I’m considering a smaller reel with live bait or a fly-rod. Either would be closer to how I envision taking trout from this mountain river.
Instead of fishing the big holes like everyone else, I’ve been slowly climbing my way up the river bank. I’ve fished every little hole that I expected Rainbows to hide. I’ve banged my knees, elbow and shin. I’ve scraped both hands and forearms. I’ve had to jump from one boulder to the next. I’ve even slid down one boulder like a kids’ slicky-slide. None of this was about trout fishing for me.
Now here I sit in the shade in the bend of the river. The different babbling, hissing, bubbling and gurglings of this river drown out every other sound. If you listen closely enough, you can hear each note of a grand symphony. The sun’s rays still shine bright just above me. They brighten the subtle shades of grays, browns and greens on the tree trunks. These trees have seen many more years than I have, more than my dad, and some of them more than my grandpa. The green glistens off of the uncountable pine needles. Looking right or looking left, I see river shoals too pretty for a man like me to describe with words.
Another fisherman just passed by on his mountain bike. He didn’t realize that I was sitting ten feet from him in the shade. Always willing to enjoy the conversations to be had with fellow outdoorsmen, I speak just loud enough for him to hear me. “Any luck today?”
He nearly lost control of his bike and rolled over the hillside from the surprise. He didn’t even reply – probably out of embarrassment. I watched as he peddled faster down the trail.
The shade has made it much cooler and I shiver in my sweaty shirt. My muscles ache from an exercise routine beyond a gym membership. My arm is too tired to write in an awkward position against this rock. After all of the “work” I’ve done today, I’m headed to camp.