Yesterday morning I was reading a post on my favorite Trout Fishing Message Board. The poster was talking about the stages of a "Trout Angler." I identified myself at the stage of being a large trout chaser. I posted in the thread and comments in the thread began to make think about my "crusade" to catch this extra large trout I had located. I sat at my computer enough I thought. It was time to get out there and chase the giant female brown again. I had already chased my monster 8 times this year with zero to show for it.
The last 2 trout seasons I have been obsessed with the biggest small stream brown trout I have ever seen. My perspective of trout fishing changed. My outings revolved around this trout. I now know how Captain Ahab felt about Moby Dick.
Last year alone I fished the stretch I saw it on 37 times. Little trout seemed immaterial. They almost angered me because I saw them as spooking the holes I was chasing that monster brown in.
Back to today. I just couldn't get myself out of my recliner. The idea of beating my head against the wall again try to catch the big brown was unappealing. A couple hours went by and I got up and went out on the deck to evaluate the weather. It was an early Spring day and the sun was shining. The thermometer said it was 50 degrees. I thought to myself: "I can't waste the first beautiful day of the year...I need to go fishing." I called 3 or 4 of my friends and all of them had plans. I decided to go alone and hit a stretch that I had ignored for the past two years due to my obsession with that big brown.
I geared up at home and took off on my trek to a stream I have very fond memories of. No it wasn't the home of the monster. It was a stream with open pastures and wonderful foliage.
The scenery on the way was still quite stark. The greens of summer have not taken hold as of yet. It was warm enough to have the windows down for the first time this year. The smells of early spring in Wisconsin came flowing in the windows. The smell of clean wet soil was the most recognizable. This smell is my signature aroma of spring .
It wasn't green and lush quite yet but I could feel it coming and the smells en-route were amazing. The buds had not peaked out yet. There were no wildflowers breaking through the brown grass. None of the wonders of spring were there yet but, the memories of years past were vivid in my book of life.
I exited my vehicle and completed my trout fishing attire. I placed my new camera in my vest pocket and off I went trout fishing.
The beginning of the outing was not very fruitful. About an hour in I sat down on a log and took in the beautiful skies and the sounds of the stream. I even took off one layer of clothing because the day had really warmed up. I was about to start fishing again and it dawned upon me. This was the first time in almost two years that I went fishing and wasn't obsessing about that giant trout. I decided to sit a little longer and enjoy the outdoors
One of the reasons I loved this stretch so much was the grove of plum trees that adorned the pasture. There they stood not 50 yards from me. The limbs were barren and lifeless. They had not budded or blossomed yet. They did not need to be in full bloom like they were the first time I had fished this stretch. The smell of their blossoms were etched on my memory. I can remember the first time I smelled them. I thought to myself that this smell was better than any perfume from New York or Paris.
It was like a switch turned on in my head. I had lost track of what I truly loved about trout fishing. The big fish are good but the being outdoors and relaxing and taking in what nature has to offer was the real reason I went fishing.
I fished for about another three hours and caught about 25 browns. The sizes didn't matter. It was like I was seeing nature for the first time again. I promised to myself that I would return to this stream when the plum trees are in full bloom and sit on that log again and breathe in the real reason I love fishing.
A kaleidoscope only looked through on one setting can be easily remedied.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a
precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think,
to enjoy, to love.
- Marcus Aurelius