I remember the first Trout that I brought to hand like it was yesterday. Up until that point I had done a lot of fishing but not a lot of catching. Well, catching trout that is. Sure I had slayed Bluegill and Bass, but trout were elusive mythical creatures. And now after all the ones that I have brought to hand, I still find them to be the prize of the kingdom of fish.
I usually fish alone for pleasure and scenery I enjoy the sounds of a river and in knowing that two billion years of wind, water and rock had all taken place for that one moment in time on that one spot of the river and that one fish.
The cast was smooth and subtle the streamer landed inches from the small horseshoe shaped waterfall and quickly sank below the surface. I began to strip the line slowly and steady, letting the fly drift naturally in the current with just the slightest of motion. Tug, the rod tip goes up and the hook is set.
The details of the fight have escaped me now. The landing however is as vivid today as it was that day. I had no net, I simply reached into the water slid my hand down the line and onto the fish. I remember how green it seemed and how the black dots stood out in the light. The belly was so silver and strip of red, absolutely brilliant. The hook was removed and the fish returned to the water suspended above my hand until it was ready to swim away.
A fisherman across from me simply shook his head as to say, “That was a keeper son and you let him go.” I smiled and walked back down the path that had brought me to this day and to the angler I would become.