Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Harsh Mistress

One of my favorite rivers receives a lot of fishing pressure, but not A LOT of fishing pressure. Most of you understand the distinction. If you don't then you are either blessed or damned. For your sake, I'll explain.

The river is fished by many people, but most of the folks wetting a line in its runs and pools haven't a genuine understanding of how best to fish it. They are either new to fishing, new to the river or unconcerned with their catch rate. That many people have caught fish or a fish on occasion says more about the generous nature of Lady Luck than it does the complexity of the river. Without a doubt she's a tough nut to crack, and most fishermen would rather spend their time on less fickle nuts.

I consider myself fortunate to have such a river to fish, and I jealousy guard the secrets of this not-so-secret piece of water. I'm joined by a dedicated cadre of bait dunkers and fly flingers who are generally tight-lipped about the quality of the fishery. We don't use the name of the river in public, and give each other suspicious glances if the river's name is used amongst ourselves. We simply call it "the river."

Any hendricksons on "the river" yet?

"The river" fished well tonight.

Dear God that was one tough day on "the river."

Notice our use of the definite article. This is not a river. This is the river. The only river. The absolute, singular, invariable river. She's not the most beautiful. She's not the most prolific, and when we say she's tough we mean it with all sincerity. Regardless, she's our river, and we love her desperately and truly.

Occasionally, she reciprocates and shows us a little love too.

1 comment:

The Anglersflybox said...

So far this spring she has been cold to me, but I still love "The River".