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Winter and what passes as spring can be painfully slow and cruel to the angler.  I had anxiously waited for the opportunity to ply some small freestone stream for a trout. The catch?  Would there be any clear water to fish?  Most of our nearby rivers had already blown.  The small creeks likely not far behind.

A short drive would put me in touch with an old friend, a little stream that I'd neglected for so many years.  I stood in this same spot, some thirty plus years ago.  It was the same Saturday in May. The traditional opening day for fishing our small Montana streams.

Up early, I arrived at the stream and found it quite fishable, a pleasant surprise.  Near heaven, it was the most perfect of mornings.  I've said it before.  Give me a fifty degree day, overcast and light mist.  What could be better?

The first pool produced a fish on the first cast.  The next three casts resulted in solid hookups with streamside vegetation.  One tree and two bushes.  Not bad, four casts and four hookups.  I had a few kinks to work out as it had been a while since I'd fished in tight quarters.  Casting?  Well, really it wasn't.  More of a flip and a short drift.  Didn't matter……..

 The little rainbows were still there.  Ready and willing, they were spirited little jewels.

Fly reel and small netted rainbow trout

Not much had changed in the passing decades.

With a little help from above, maybe I'll be back in another thirty years.


  1. Oh, wonderful post! To return after 30 years and be able to find it in good order and welcoming you, and bringing out in you some truly glorious phrases:
    The next three casts resulted in solid hookups with streamside vegetation.
    The little rainbows were still there. Ready and willing, they were spirited little jewels.

    ...and that closing, just so special.

    1. I should say that I've driven alongside this little stream countless times over the years, just never bothered to wet a line. Standing streamside took me back in time. I only wish that I could erase some of the indignities that the surrounding landscape had suffered.

  2. Les: 30yrs...yikes! About time you got back...good outing.

    1. Bob.... thirty years go by in a blink. I paid another visit a couple of weeks ago, didn't fish though. Only four years between visits this time.


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