There always seem to be a warm spell in late winter where the skiing goes to shit and the rivers start whispering “trout.” With giddiness I pull on my waders and my toes thank me for a day of wading boots rather than ski gear. I let myself slip off an ice shelf into the water.
Our new puppy meets his first trout. My fingers go numb running up and down the fly line. Chunks of ice drift lazily downstream, speaking of new beginnings and new fish.
The pressure’s off. I mean, it’s only February after all. How good could it be? I throw the stick for the dog, lay back in the sun, drink beers with friends. In a few days I’ll buy my 2017 licenses. I’ll hope for steelhead and browns and the grandpa bull trout I know is down in that pool somewhere. But these February fish are just icing on a season already past and I celebrate every scale, fin and release.