Sunday, May 8, 2011

Crossing the fence in a Pennsylvania Meadow...

It's a long ride, over a bumpy road, twisting and turning through dense forest along a country stream.  I can hear my gear tossing about in the trunk, but I know it is not far now.  There, ahead, a wide meadow opens up, with tall hardwoods reaching to the sky on either side.  An old wooden fence, all wood, lines the lane, but there is an opening just ahead.

When I spoke with the fly shop owner in town, he told me not to worry, that the landowners allowed fishermen to cross over their land to wave their sticks over the small swift streams here.  It's unusual to me, coming from an area of the country where you had to have specific permission to fish, not carte blanche to cross the fence.  It's spring, and the meadow is layered with spring flowers, yellow, blue, red, all reaching to the sky for the sun's nourishment.  I'm careful to not mash the flowers, stepping on just green as I cross to the stream.  Once there, I survey the situation.  To my left is a small dam over the stream, maybe made by a beaver, maybe just there from rains, but blocking enough water for a pool.  Below the dam, a few rocks in the water, just before a slight turn to the left, then a long run to a riffle.  What a spot...and I just saw some circles on the water, giving away the presence of a trout.

I've brought my short 4wt. today, but I'm using 5 wt. line, because I like the way the heavier line loads the 4 wt. rod and makes it easy to cast.  I'm tying on an adams, a size 14, just because.  No hatch apparent, but its a good start.  Staying low, I sneak up on the stream, for there are no woods behind me to hide me.  I make a short cast about 6 feet or so upstream from where I last saw the circles, and as the fly floats down, sure enough, a small rainbow sips the fly from the film...a short play, the net, and the fish is mine.  I take the customary picture, thank the fish and God for the connection, and slip the little fish into the cool stream.  I love the springtime, and the experience it brings.  
...keep the rod bent...

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