Old hunting dogs still want to hunt. Things don't come quite so easy as they once did for old hunting dogs. Leaping into the back of the truck now requires assistance. Even getting out of the truck, once the field is reached, requires a loving and helpful hand. Eyesight is not what it use to be. Senses are beginning to falter. Legs once agile, now somewhat stiff. Legs that tire quicker than they use to.
However, inside the old hunting dog is that heart... that harbor of the hunter's soul and within this safe place is the desire. From desire comes hope. Old hunting dogs have hope. Hope, that the point will come. Hope, that a bird will take flight. Hope, for the retrieve. None of these things may come for the old hunting dog, but still there is that hope.
I think fly anglers that are slowly growing old are like old hunting dogs. No matter how old we get there is always going to be a desire to chase fish.
Much like the old hunting dog, things don't come as easy as they once did. Hikes are more tiring than they once was. Weariness sets in sooner rather than later. It takes longer to tie a fly on. Trips, slips, and falls hurt more these days. But, the older angler carries the same hope as the old hunting dog.
Hope, that the fly we choose will cause a fish to rise. Hope, that the water we choose will be kind and favorable. Hope, that the fish we battle, capture, and release, will live to fight another day.
Hope, is a primary color of fly fishing.
In a matter of days, trout season will begin at Blue River. Sticks of graphite, glass, and bamboo will be waved in the air. Flies... fashioned of fur, feather, tinsel, and synthetics, will fly through the air then gently hit the surface of the water.
The trout will be waiting for the fly angler's offerings. Some offerings will be taken below the surface, others will be taken on the surface. The rising trout will be showing a number of forms. Sipping trout will only reveal themselves by a subtle dimple in the water - evidence of midge sipping. Slurping trout will show their beak through the surface, which reveals the fish are on a hatch. Splashing trout will show us a sudden explosive pop with a splash - the fish are targeting skittering caddis flies. The boiling trout will reveal a dorsal fin and tail and cause disturbed patterns in the water - tell tale of emergers being picked.
Trout season at Blue River is always welcomed with great enthusiasm among the fly fishing community, and the expectation of capturing trout is already building.
For me, this will be my 32nd year at Blue River. I have been blessed with living in close proximity to the river for all these years. Outings come easier for me than for most, and I am thankful for my good fortune.
On Blue River, there are personal trails that I follow. These trails are certainly not exclusive to me - many other anglers use the same trails. But, somehow, I've found a way to personalize these trails.
I think the personal trails we take in life, lead to the personal tales we can tell in life.
Therefore, during the upcoming season of the rainbow trout at Blue River, I will dedicate this journal to the experiences I find on my personal trails.
The chase continues.