Monday, December 1, 2014

Crazy? No Way...

The howling of the wind against the cold exterior seemed to grow continually louder. Frost covered every window of the car, blocking visibility completely. I searched for more warmth in my sleeping bag, only to engage in a losing battle with the cold. Upon turning the key, the strong, old engine came to life, providing heat and comfort. The temperature gauge read 33 degrees, but the weather app indicated that it was 12 degrees with windchill. To say that it was tough to get up and out of the heated car would be an understatement. Slowly, we managed to add layer-after-layer of clothing, before finally putting on our frozen waders, still wet from yesterday. With every twist of the clinch knot came decreased feeling in my fingers. The wind burned as it singed my exposed cheeks, and the water would freeze my legs beyond comfort after only ten minutes. However, big fish lurked below the water's surface, and those big fish were our goal.

Again, we began the process of casting tirelessly, hoping that the monster fish of our dreams would pick up our offering on the next cast. Cast, retrieve. Cast, retrieve. This same routine, all day. Taking rotations was necessary, as one person would warm up while the other fished. We would get a small tug or bump here and there, but nothing wanted to commit it seemed. As the day progressed, the bumps got a little more solid, though still nothing had committed 100%.

Lunch time yielded hot coffee and ramen noodles, both of which were a very welcoming addition to my frozen body. Each gulp of coffee warmed me from top to bottom, and the warm mug provided comfort to my hands, which were numb. It made me question why I was out there, freezing my a*s off for a bunch of fish, but looking off into the distance at the windblown water, I knew that I had to keep going; I had to get that big fish.

After awhile, it was back to the water. Again, the process resumed. Cast, retrieve, rotate. The bumps and hits were becoming a lot more aggressive. Both of us kept getting increasingly excited, when just like that, the hit that we'd been waiting for arrived. The fish voraciously attacked the massive streamer, and it was game on. Running, jumping, and trying to wrap the line around any underwater object that it could, the fish battled with nothing less than all that it had. Thankfully for us, we were able to win this battle, scooping the fine specimen into the net as it began to tire out. It was a sight for sore eyes -- a gorgeous brown trout. The fish provided smiles and laughter, and a weird kind of warmth that seemed better than any heater.

Both of us relaxed, knowing that we had gotten what we came for. Countless casts yielded fine fish, and many pictures to take home. It's amazing what we do for these fish; call it crazy, but it's an amazing feat every time we get to put such a creature in the net.

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