Saturday, March 6, 2010


The cold Rolling Rock and the roast beef sandwich were consolation enough for a slow day on the river. My wadered legs dangled off the tailgate as I watched the water below. Traffic cruised down I-15 over the Grasshopper Bridge. How the drivers could restrain from slowing down to look at the water was beyond me. Fishermen are the reason they invented guard rails, right?

An early March midge hatch was in full bloom, but the Beavehead's trophy trout remained tight-lipped. The river, like a dog stepping from the water, was busy shedding itself of winter, but its fish hadn't gotten the memo yet. 

I watched as clouds of midges and the occasional blue-winged olive mayfly hovered over likely runs. I kept a close watch on the water, looking for those tell-tale dimples of working trout, or even the swirls of fish focusing on emerging bugs. Nothing. 

But, oddly, I was sated. The sun shone bright all day, and what's left of the shelf ice along the Beaverhead was busy beating a hasty retreat. Yeah, it's only early March. But spring made an appearance today, and after a long winter, a taste of spring--a reminder of what's yet to come to the Rockies--was medicinal.

I left my jacket in the truck today and fished in a long-sleeved shirt and my fishing vest. Having so little between me and elements was liberating, and even with ice-cold river water embracing my calves, I cheerfully persevered without additional cover. Pushing the season? Certainly. Shoving it... putting some shoulder into it. Whatever it takes.

Tomorrow, the Madison. And, if it's anything like today, I honestly don't care if I catch a single fish.

Yeah. Right.

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