Fall had finally made its way to Western North Carolina. The 38-degree weather crept in through the open bedroom window, causing a simultaneous reaction of wanting to stay under the warm comforter and eagerness to hit the water.
It had been three long weeks with no personal fishing.
A few cups of hot coffee, a few minutes of digging around for long underwear, waders, and wool socks, and we were on our way.
A light haze of fog was gently settled on top of the river, as is often the case in the fall and early winter. The sun was just starting to creep over the tree line, warming your face and the water. Bugs began popping off the surface, all sizes of lovely cream trout food. There was no way this day was going to be a bad day, it was bound to be fantastic!
Disclaimer: There are no photographs of fish in this blog post.
Because we landed one. Just one.
At this point, most people would decide that this was not a good day, it was a terrible one, but to me, it was perfectly fantastic.
I got the spend an entire day on the water, in the middle of the week, with not one other person in sight. I got to sit and watch the river flow by, at a good level, something I didn't get to see last year because of the drought. I was able to just sit and breathe in the cool, clean fall air. Last year the simple act of breathing was painful because of the nearby fires. There were bugs to play with, under rocks and dancing across the water, bugs do not grow well in warmth and low water, a prominent problem last year.
So, yeah, maybe we didn't have a record-setting day, but I'm thankful for the day we did have. I'm thankful that this year we're not dealing with some of the natural obstacles we were last year. I'm thankful that we are lucky, far luckier than a lot of people in this country. And, I'm thankful for one of the greatest parcels of Public Lands, right in my backyard.
I'm thankful for a fantastic day, spent on the river.