The Dean: A Trout Fisherman’s Exercise In Patience
Almost imperceptible streaks of water seep through jacket cuffs, working their way up my arms. With every sweep it creeps just a tad farther. Squinting through drops of rain on my sunglasses I aim another cast to where tree line meets a cloudy mist. The fly hits the water and I strive to maintain focus.
Confidence is key, but after several days without touching a fish it is hard to hold onto. I feel a slight bump. I wonder if it was the soft peck of a steelhead or just a rock. Treating it as if it was the former I back up, then swing again. Back up again, change flies, swing again. Keep swinging. Intellectually I know its a numbers game, combined with luck. Keep your bug in the water long enough and eventually you will connect.
Then it happens. This time it’s unmistakable. The line comes tight with a heavy weight. A brief pause. Then line is screaming off the reel. The stars align and a few minutes later I find myself kneeling in glacial water cradling a fish that is pure muscle. We touch briefly and look calmly into each others eyes. The waiting is worth it.