A good "warm-snap," I guess that's the best way to describe yesterday. The Southeast tends to provide us that every year, usually in December or January. Just a day or two to remind you that yes, you would prefer a 60-degree day to anything colder, no matter how much you may enjoy skiing on this stuff we pretend to be "pow-pow." Hopefully, it will only last these few short days and not hijack the entire season, similarly to the previous winter solstice.
The water was a pleasant 44 degrees, the air a modest 68, and in the shade, it was pretty much perfect, you were almost tempted to go wet wading. Jacob and I were not the only two enjoying this quintessential day; the trout were moving and feeding like crazy, bugs danced atop the water the whole time we were there, all of nature seemed to be relishing in the day, enjoying it before it slipped away for at least a few months.
Rainbows, in modest football shapes, came and went from the net most of the day, but not much else. It wasn't until during the tail end of the trip that Jacob hooked up on a beautiful, brown specimen. A brown trout, not as large as many we've caught before, but every bit as mighty and more golden than any I'd seen before.
It was in those few moments of relishing the beauty of this creature that I was once again, as most days on the river, reminded of why it is that I do what I do.
Jacob often describes being in fly fishing as a lifestyle and not a hobby, and I believe this is a most accurate description. Fly fishing is not an industry in which you'll get rich or famous (not counting "internet famous"), but a thing from which you just can't back away. It consumes you, at every possible level, even during the most hectic of guiding season, when you feel like you're on the verge of burning out, you don't. And, it's all because of those moments, those days, with those fish, that stand out in your mind forever.