a good friend headed west and we were able to meet up for an early spring day spent chasing trout under deceptively blue skies. full of coffee and stories we switch-backed through the pass and drove by spots we'd fished years ago when we had stomped around the state on a week long fishing bender. the stream we decided to fish is named after dreams but none were made this day. neither of us cared. we fished and hung out and like only good friends can, fell right back into things despite the gap that distance and time can often bring. the fish we caught seemed tired, almost beat up and at times i regretted that i had added to their already torn up faces. once a trout's mandibles are gone they look sunken, like an old person without their dentures in.
the complete opposite of those pounded fish swim in a few gems that are tucked away here and there on these dusty plains. i wouldn't want to fish them everyday but they offer a welcome change of pace and don't require hours of windshield time. the best part is the fish always seem to be looking up. a small parachute and a decent drift will almost always reward you with spring creek colors.
spring is the time when everything propels itself towards summer, towards the future. predators move into the shallows and ensure a future broad and after that is off their to-do list, it seems like they are angry they will have to wait another whole year to "do it" again. so we played into that aggression and hedged our bets with steel leaders and plenty of bucktail.
even an exceptionally cold morning can seem ideal just because it is calm. we all know the wind will come. wind is a fact i've begrudgingly had to accept. a day spent casting straight into a gale can be brutal but when the rewards are measured in pounds, you tighten up your loop and learn to ask for help to get your flies out of your back. at the days end when you are good and wind burnt, you crank up the car's heat and rest your hands on the dash board vents. as feeling returns to your fingers you miraculously forget all the struggle and you start planning how quickly you can get back because spring is about rebirth and moving forward. it's about the opportunity to reach out and hold all of those things from our long winter dreams.