Several weeks ago, on the first day of spring, I took off. It was one of those days that needed to involve fishing no matter if fish were caught or not. I got a few official rod building items done, told the the necessary people where I’d be and clocked out. I decided to explore a new section of a creek I know well. One that hardly ever sees an angler, I imagine.
I parked, knew the general direction to walk through the woods and went.
After about a mile I found a spring that lead to the creek. I love this time of year. New life popping everywhere. And seeing a spring just happen was icing on the cake. May flies and stone flies and caddis flies, little green shoots shooting up, ferns and fungus.
Following the trickle, it started to build momentum. Past old logging trails and game trails. Then I found the stream, sat down and rigged up as I watched a little pocket of water for activity. I saw a few shadows dart in the water so I hands and knees’d it to within casting distance. A few false casts to test whether or not I’d hook a tree first then presented my #16 Mr. Rapidan. Swipe! I missed the first signs of a fish. Laid the fly back down and wham! First beautiful brook trout of the day.
That happened over and over again over the next two and a half hours. Ending with a huge 11”er. Sort of. That eleven inch totally wild and native brook trout, king of the stream actually took a little line. Heart pounding, I landed the fish, admired it and let it go. Deciding then that the day was done and I felt totally refreshed. Then I saw another pocket to cast to and caught a 9”er. Cut off my fly, stuck it in my hat, took my rod apart and started the hike out in the general direction of the car.
When I got back into cell range while driving home I called my fishing buddies and told them all about it still brimming with excitement.
That was my first day of spring. And one of the best yet.