John Gierach on Tenkara

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The Opener

A lot of anglers like to start the season opener by chasing after the stocking truck. Hit the stream hard, take a way a limit. A lot of folks (folks you’re not likely to see that often) wait a few weeks after the season opener to go fishing when the hullabaloo has died down and the stocked trout have acclimated themselves. And still another group of anglers like to start the season more quietly, chasing wild and native fish far off the beaten path.

These folks are likely to stop in the middle of a good cast because they can feel the warmth of a sunbeam, a feeling almost forgotten, buried beneath the doldrums of a long gray winter. The same folks are also likely to relish in the fact that they no longer are trying to stick the biggest fish, the most fish, even the best fish in the most remote places. They are just happy to be on the water again. They bask in the comfort of the return of yet another season full of promise and hope that this year’s fishing will be better than the last. Maybe they’ll finally take the back country hike to the headwaters they’ve planning for what must be a decade. Maybe they’ll take their nephew (he’s old enough now) to that bend in the river where you know Charlie has been holding out beneath the root ball all winter. Maybe they’ll attend that TU meeting that they’ve back burnered because there will be a presentation on brookies in Maine.

For me, the season opener is a time of hope. And nothing fills your chest with more hope for the season than having a six inch jewel of a brookie dancing on your 6x before the canopy has filled in, but just as the blue quills are coming off.

 

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