The body is telling you no these days. But You make the trip anyways.
Most always you return feeling satisfied yet at the same time beaten down. This shit isn't even for the kids. It hurts everybody.
Pocket water. Smallmouth hang out there, sure, but so do musky. Low light and a big fly.
There's that one spot waaaay over there that looks fishy. It'll take 20 minutes to go 50 feet and there's no use casting until you get there.
You know it's the spot. The are boulders... on boulders, not gravel. Beware the dark rock, for it is wet. And slippery as fuck. You finally make it to that spot. Make sure to set your footing. You'll need it for the strip set.
You unfurl the line from your reel. It's intermediate... It goes straight to the bottom. Dammit.
You make the cast. It's not far. Maybe 20 feet. The fly lands with a thwack. Its a beautiful thing. Some internet friend guy tied it for himself and you stole it. So you fish it.
Pause. Pause. Strip. Bam! The fish torpedoes out of the water to destroy 'your' fly. You're glad you checked your footing now aren't you?
Next task is landing this fish... Back to the shallows... 50 feet away. Use the fish as leverage while you hop from rock to rock.
You're back in ankle deep water. Have a sit. You've earned it. Hand line her in and get some pics.
Brown and copper and green and gold. All the colors are in there if you take the time to look. Rest her easy and let her go.
This is why you beat yourself up.
So then you keep going because, well, it's still light out. There's another spot down river. Take your time.
Your toes are starting to throb. This shit hurts. Bang a rock and slip sideways down another. You can't see bottom. Just hope it's there.
It's getting darker now. Time to go up top. Tie on the biggest ugliest thing you have. The other fly.
You only brought the two.
Remember your footing now. Start casting out to the big pool. These casts are 50 feet now. A chore in thigh deep water with intermediate line.
Start covering water. This is a really big pool. Chug chug. Striiip striiiiiiiiip. Chug. Pause. Keep casting. The musky are out there.
Cast. Retrieve. Cast. Retrieve. Don't lose your focus.
Then it happens. Surprising at how. Slurped in. Barely a ripple. This can't be a musky.
You strip set, line hand splashing the water beside you. Then the fish rolls. Yeah... Musky. And big.
It's far out so its on the reel right away. Muscling down. Ten weight bent to the cork.
Again, here you go. Back to the shallows. Use this fish as leverage too only take care... This one pulls you back hard. Shoulders... This fish has shoulders. And a gut too.
She snakes back and forth through the boulders. And back out again. This hook is barbless. Don't you dare give slack.
She starts to tire and you get her to hand. Now THIS is why you beat yourself up.
She's a Beauty. You admire her in the shallows... Weathered and worn. Scars up and down. A few pics and the hook slips free.
She rests. At your feet. A great battle. A few more pics... Since she's offering.
Then she starts to wiggle. And with a big thrust glides back into the pool.
You stop now. No reason to go on tonight.
Your heart is racing. Hands shaking. Time to hike back.
You've been blessed with a great fish. And you'll be back another day.
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Real good man. Strong resurgence.
"...my grandmother’s Tang always tasted like rusty water and dirty socks." - Average Joe
"with some limited exceptions steelhead live where the lady selection is sparce." - MTG
This is what this place is about, thanks for the reminder.
Rare breed." - MTgrayling
"You guys know the Magic Hour???? Yeah it just happened I was there!!!" DK
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