I’m gonna keep this short because I’m on the road to Virginia. My title for the post does not refer to a species other than the usual salmonid that you might encounter here, but to a wild brown trout, modest in size yet bright in color, that chased my tandem wets as if to say, “I’m here; we’re back; this creek isn’t empty anymore.”
I had heard from reliable sources that New York State’s Spring Creek was coming back to life, as far as trout numbers were concerned. The winter of 2014 had been much harsher than usual in upstate New York and in many regions of the East. Even the Great Lakes had frozen up. The wintering waterfowl, especially the fish-eating variety, converged on the few open waters in the state (i.e., Spring Creek, whose lime-based waters remain relatively uniform throughout the year) and ate the resident fishes almost to the point of extinction.
Some of you might recall occasional reports I gave from Spring Creek outings prior to the population crash in 2014. The wild trout were large and brightly colored from the rich diet obtained in this special water. I haven’t been back to the stream since then. It takes a while for a creek to recover from its losses. The results of a recent electro-survey at Spring Creek are encouraging.
There was no one on the stream when I returned. The section just below the state hatchery was flowing clear and full. The place looked healthier than I remembered it. Instead of the usual crowd of anglers on the small stretch of public water, there was little sign of anyone around.
I was fishing tandem nymphs or wet flies with a 90 year-old Thomas bamboo. The old railroad bridge with “1914” inscribed in concrete lent an air of timelessness beneath an overcast sky, with chill air and a promise of rain. I was seeing no fish whatsoever. I was wondering if the fishery report was an analysis well upstream of this public section, when it happened. My trout came out of hiding.
I’d forgotten to bring my landing net, but I held the fish just long enough to hear a voice as if to say, I used to be a nowhere fish, and for three long years we nowhere trout were nowhere near at all. It’s good to be back, but really, if you don’t mind, I want to be gone! The brown shot away before I could get a decent photo.
At home that night, I randomly surfed some You Tube music interviews and made the following connection. Captain Beefheart, a different kind of fish himself, says whatever he wants and stops making sense in a way both comical and wondrous. For the children and other animals of this world.