The emerald-green stream water glistened with early morning indirect sunlight. The deepest portion of the hole, alongside the swift current, had the best potential to hold large trout.
The fly, hand tied on a size ten hook to the specifications provided by my brother, seemed like an insignificant item in the rushing stream water. As I flipped it towards the center of the stream, weighted with a few wraps of lead tied to the shank of the hook, the fly disappeared quickly into the churning stream.
Over and over again I flipped the fly watching the small ball attached to my leader about four feet above the fly. With total concentration I focused on the ball waiting for any indication of a strike.
It seemed like folly, but experience told me that eventually a fish would pick up the fly, fooled by the imitation. The fish would only hold onto the fly for an instant before spitting it out once it was determined to be a foreign object – not the living nymph upon which it preyed.
Casting over and over again, I mended the line to allow the leader and attached fly to float naturally in the moving water. A few feet under the surface, trout lay alongside the boulders. Although not visible, they were surely there.
Over and over, until my back ached from holding the rod outward, away from my body, but still my eyes stayed focused for any indication of a strike. Then it happened, the ball turned the wrong direction for an instant. I instinctively raised the rod – tension on the line, a few throbs on the rod tip and a trout magically appeared in the stream in front of me.
Like a diamond – the shaking trout flashed with each movement. He’s on I thought, as adrenaline rushed into my system. I waited for the fish’s next move. It’s during the first moments of the fight that the fish has the advantage.
The throbbing lasted for a few seconds and then he turned, adding the power of the river to his innate swimming ability, the rainbow shot downstream ripping line of my reel, as I clamored over the marble mountain of rocks sliding along the steep bank while holding my rod high with my left hand and reaching out with my right to maintain my balance.
Several times I stopped to gather or give line and assess how far I’d have to go before landing the trout. Eventually the runs became shorter and the fish turned on its side. That’s when I was able to slide it onto the shore and remove the hook from its jaw.
In a flash it disappeared back into the emerald water. The battle was over and I was fulfilled.