The setting sun on the Palisades frame the golden hues of God's glory against the ravages that wind and weather have wrought on the bedrock standing like sentinels watching over the valley below. Cast after endless cast from my flyrod keep rythym to the pulse of the river, the rod bending to the task, line curling behind then extending forward and stretching outward, to settle gently on the rushing waters. The fly, floating and drifting in the floatsam, searching the depths below for the waiting trout to break from its hiding place and impale itself on the fly, tied long months ago as the snow covered the landscape.
I am haunted by the river, from the upper reaches of Stoney Pass to the lower eddies where its cottonwood lined banks and deep holes and cries of the panther in the lowering light of evening echoes down thru the trees. It calls to me like the sirens of old who taunted Ulysses, bound hand and foot to the mast of his great ketch. Voices and melodic tunes of the eddies and riffles, playing out their notes which call me daily to hear their heart throbs. No ropes to tie me and keep me from their grasp I return again and again to listen to their romantic songs and my heart belongs to them like that of a lover forever tied to the mate of his very soul.
Night comes swiftly and the shadows along the bank draw long and dark, becoming ghouls and goblins frpm an imagination long exposed to movies and television. A tree becomes a bear and seems to move menacingly along the bank, my cast blind in the dark waters. Casts which were perfected from the time I was a small boy, come easy and with precision, and lay close against a bank long lost in the darkness of the night, Only the bump bump bump of the streamer bouncing along the rocks tells me that the magic of the fly is working its power, the big trout long hidden during the daylight hours, sensing the fly as it flows downstream and across the currrent. The take is sometimes just a small tap, felt only thru the line against my fingers while other times a hard crash of water and fins and taut line, tells me another brown has succumbed to its desire for more and more food.
The fight is long and cold and desparate, darkness envelopes me and the thrashing fish circles in tighter and tighter knots around me and finally surrenders to the net, long torn and shredded by willows lining the banks. Golden hues are still visible in the moonlight and the sharp teeth of a mature fish remind me to be careful as I extract the fly, torn and shredded by the battle just fought. The fish slips quietly back into the river, pausng at my feet as tho to thank me for its life returned and then dashes away, to be caught and fought another day, another time.
The moon rising now in the east casts is hazy glow upon the waters sending the trout scurrying back to their lairs and I begin the slow and ardous task of wading from the rocky morass and the long walk to my truck. Cold and wet from my evenings advernture, home becons me to a hot shower and coffee, relishing in the days glory. My thots are to Him who created me and all that surrounds me and I pay homage to His kindness to me in this and days to come.