Monday, December 26, 2011
The dead eye of a salmon stares up at me, as if to say "I've served my purpose here, what's yours?"
The answer is, I don't know. I've fished this spot a lot lately, as it's some of the only ice-free water nearby, but the water is so low and clear as to nearly rule out the possibility of it holding steelhead, or at least where they would be reachable.
The sky and landscape are monotone and monolithic, carved from a single piece of gray flowing stone. Even the cedars have muted their green, embarrassed to show their color when everything else is so dull. The wind is calm and even the river flows in muted tones, as if sound could break this sculpture.
I stop at the next dark pool, and on the first cast my line again zips tight, there's another merry go-round, and this time a small brown is landed, carefully recorded digitally and sent on his way. There's a cold spot on my left leg- I really hope my waders aren't leaking. That could make for a long winter. I'm surprised by movement and a greeting from the bank. My vehicle is the only one here, but another angler hails me with the usual "Any luck?".
As I answer, my line comes tight with a serious weight, and a long silver flash. A few head shakes and it's off, and like any dedicated fisherman, my new companion groans audibly from the bank. On my next cast, the line comes tight again, and this time we're off to the races.
I fish for another hour, landing one more small fish, but the light is failing and I'm having a tough time reading my line. The landscape, sky and river are starting to merge back together. It will take the sunrise to sculpt them again.