The sky is gray and there is snow on the mountains towering in the distance. The temperatures are falling and the rain has arrived. Rivers are rising now that the heat and drought of summer are long past. It’s time to put away the dry line rods and reach for the tackle that can lift and throw lines impregnated with tungsten powder and reels that can slow down a charging four-salt fish before it leaves the pool. It’s time to test and re-tie backing knots; organize flies, sink-tips and spare lines; patch waders and treat seams on porous rain jackets. You obsessively check weather reports and river gauges. Days on the water go on the calendar, even though some will undoubtedly be canceled at the last minute when storms roll in from the Pacific and blow out every watershed within a day’s drive. It’s time to call the winter crew.
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