thee streamside companion & angler's frequent respite

treatise, pomes, fine etchings & lyrics re. and not re. flyfishing (with an angle)

Monday, June 07, 2004

notellem -- 6/4-5/04

we were almost to friggin' cle elum before we decided where the hell we were going. for 60 some miles, we debated creeks with names so secret that their mention will vanish with CIA-type cleanliness on certain websites. creeks shrouded in mystery. creeks a long way from you, a long way from me. creeks protected like precious state secrets. well, it just so happens I know a couple and so did old Snap. Back and forth we batted names like Ave Maria spring, Johnny Cash creek, Skunkweed creek, Thelonious Springs, and of course, Rattlesnake Creek which, in-the-know lips whispered, had lately been the victim of swarms of western diamondbacks and a rash of violent vehicle break ins. Sad. What times we live in....

We drove some more and listened to some music. There was plenty of things to see out the window. Around one corner, we were actually able to see years fall from the calendar. In the space of 1/4 mile, we had travelled back in time 44 years. I made a mental note to hit the general store up the road and buy a 6 pack of beer from 1960.

There were plenty of wildflowers blooming all around which neither helped or hurt us find the road. We finally did figure out where we were and I was able to power the truck up over and around stuff.
whaddaya say? how does this look?
dunno. looks pretty good. let's check it out

so we did. we stepped onto the 1960 dirt and walked down the trail and peered over the edge. water. current. foam.
i think this looks pretty good.
yeah, let's give it a try.
already, we had slipped into the angler's clipped shorthand. of course we were gonna "give it a try" we were gonna beat this water into a froth. damn right it looked "pretty good" hell, it was a vision. but, we were just being polite to the fish gods i guess. they hate enthusiasm.

the creek is small and we are standing at the point where it emerges from its meadow stretch and enters into a canyon. we elect to head upstream and into the meadow. snap, bless his soul, volunteers to carry beer in his backpack. i drop a sandwich in my vest after rigging a 7' 6" rod with a 9ft. leader to 5x. I put a caddis on. i trust most anglers would have done the same.

upstream it was. there really seemed to be no rush. stood over snap's left shoulder while he placed casts into pools ringed by wildflowers and tall bunchgrasses. trout were where we expected them to be. behind rocks, the head of plunges, along banks. soon enough, it was my turn at the next pool. i don't remember how many of the little pocket rockets i hooked into, but when i stepped into the pool to continue upstream, trout scattered along the bottom like mice running out of the grain bin.

up we went, stopping for a beer and a smoke now and again until finally the creek ran out. too small, too overgrown. too little of everything. we walked on back and i felt the sweat roll down my back as hoppers buzzed in my head.

at the truck, we chugged water. i still had the caddis on. it was still 1960, but it was getting hotter. Seeing as tho we had so much time, we walked into the canyon to check things out lower in the creek. within minutes, we were in a slot canyon maybe 10 feet across and 50 feet tall, casting into deep, kitchen table sized pools. as an atheist, it's amazing how often i wonder in awe at god's creation.

it was at one of these pools that a 14" rainbow pulled at my fly and shot all over the pool, finally finning into my hand as I whooped and hollered. that a fish that big can just materialize that quickly seems, in retrospect, like a heat mirage. but there he was, panting in my hand as i held him, my soul gasping at the sight.

before too long, we we found ourselves inexplicably crossing a scree slope on a faint game trail, looking 200 feet down, wondering just what the fvck we were doing. yes, it was stupid, but there were golden pools and runs down there. looking at my rod, i realized i still had on the same caddis i started with. a random thought wedged in between thoughts of my body thumping down the scree slope and crashing into the riparian band running along the creek. i decided to have one final smoke before proceeding.

by the time we had fished all the way back up the creek, it was 2004 again. my doorlocks clicked open via remote control. the beer was ice cold and i sat on the pickup gate and drank one down, not all that glad to be back


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