I left the house as the world awoke, the sun coming up about as early as it ever comes up, birds singing the day awake, dew drenched grass, the very soil breathing deep sustaining breaths.
Three-quarters of an hour’s drive later, I was on roads that wound through gullied country, past small farm plots, rolling pastures, wooded hillsides. After going around a corner and past a house with a big dog laying in front of the garage, the road dropped suddenly down into the valley.
There were no other cars at the bridge and I got ready slowly, methodically. Vest on, rod together, line strung up– and then turned from the car and walked in measured steps toward the water.
Drive through the morning
Arrive at lonely midday
Fill the void with peace
It didn’t take long to figure out that the fishing would be difficult. The water was low and the sun was bright and I had been here before. My stubbornness took over, though, and I walked a good long way downstream, stopping at riffles, their tail-outs, the flats, the head of the next quick part, watching the water, trying to read trout’s mind. But always I figured there would be a better spot around the next bend and I moved on.
When I finally stopped to fish I wasn’t successful until once when I was about to pull my fly up off the water and cast again a fish suddenly grabbed it and without any sound I played it in to my hand. I looked around after letting it go, somehow expecting there to have been an equally silent audience, but there was no one.
The sun burns my neck
Spring-fed river chills my legs
My soul sleeps alone