I was fishing the home stretch of a local river, a favorite section of the headwaters, a place where I could hang my fishing hat, or fly rod, on an aging log and feel as comfortable as a dog beside a winter fireplace. The fog had lifted from the early morning hours; the rains had finally ended (for the weekend, at least), and though the West Branch Genesee was rather high and clouded, it was eminently fishable.
I opened up my summer season with an old Orvis Superfine, a 4-weight rod, placing the dry fly on the riffles with incredible ease. A minute passed, then time vanished for as long as it took to land a foothills rainbow, not to mention a brookie and a small wild brown that slammed the Cahill’s pirouette.
It had been a week since my last outing. Many streams and rivers had been high or flooded, so to get back on the drier home stretch was an angling treat. It was summer tough at times, inching through turbulent flows, avoiding fragrant roses and thorny boughs, stepping through chest-high meadow grass and nettles, but a sense of wildness complemented the pastoral fields and forestland. It felt good to be at home.