Swing Season: Words by Dylan Tomine

Swing Season

You know the look. Try explaining your steelhead jones to someone—a relative, coworker, or better yet, a potential spouse—and there it is: disdain, or worse, real concern. The less polite often feel a need to summarize, as if they didn’t quite hear you or, more likely, to emphasize their disbelief, “Wait, so you stand in freezing water up to your waist, in brutal weather, casting over and over…and most of the time you don’t even catch anything? Um…wow.” Then the look. The one that says you belong in a mental facility.

And now here you are again, standing in freezing water up to your waist, in brutal weather, getting ready to cast over and over, each time expecting a different result. (Yes, you are acquainted with the pop-culture definition of insanity, thank you very much.) This, after four fishless, dawn-to-dark days, fueled by gas-station coffee, candy bars and pepperoni sticks. Days so bleak that at times you wondered if these fish actually exist, or if you only imagined them.

A slurry of wet snow driven by a ferocious downstream wind pelts your face and stings your fingers. Dense, gray cloud cover, vaguely lightened by an invisible sun, obscures the surrounding mountains and fills the river valley. Pale, leafless alders jut from the bank behind you, bare branches waving overhead in the stronger gusts. Spring, or what passes for it, on the Olympic Peninsula.

LINK (via: Sage Fly Fishing)

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