The weather had been warm and rainy, most of the streams and rivers in the area were high and muddy, but I knew the spring brook would be running clear. I drove to it in advance of a rapidly approaching cold front. (Yeah, we knew the Big Freeze was coming sooner or later).
As I stepped into the brook the wind began to hoist its shoulders. Soon the four anglers who’d been fishing there at my arrival started grasping for their tossed-about lines and clambered out toward the parking lot.
In more than two hours of midday casting to the colorful stream, I saw several noisy rises to the surface, but the wild trout refused my dry Griffith’s Gnat. It wasn’t the only refusal. In my first hour or so, the trout also refused an array of offerings that included an Egg pattern, Scud patterns, and several midge-pupa imitations.
The wind kicked up ferociously. Gusting to 40 mph (as predicted by weather forecasts), it sounded like the trains that passed occasionally over the stream and by the state fish hatchery. It made me nervous for a while. I kept an eye on the tossing branches of nearby trees, and even on the powerlines above. Every once in a while a gust would come along and threaten to topple me ass-over-teacups.
I practiced my standing meditation, as I used to do it in my distant longhaired youth. I’d make a cast, inhale the winter air on the count of one, hold it for a count of two and three and maybe four, then exhale on a count of five. Over and over. Thinking spring brook, thinking wind storm and approaching cold front. Thinking brown trout, wild and pretty.
Who knows if this meditation had any real effect on my composure or casting ability. It wasn’t something unfamiliar or weird (well, not really weird), and maybe it helped me stay out longer than the other anglers had stayed.
Nice fish– wild browns, first ones of the year, several in the 14 to 16-inch range, colorful and broad-tailed, feisty with the energy gained from a rich creek diet.
Speaking of wind and water, you might want to check out a relaxing but vibrantly alive and spring-like instrumental by Fripp and Eno (Paris, 1975). It’s music and video that allows nature to have its say. Give a listen, and evoke a gentle wind on the waters of your life….