Through the pine thatch, I can see blue -- like the sky through a straw hat. I step off the trail, and drop down to the lake. Heading for blue. Because these high lakes, they do something to me. Something for me. Something good. Hours on a dirt trail encroached by trees who watch with the eyes of locals; mine, look down. Trying to evade judgment....trying to keep on trail. And when it finally breaks, I'm free -- uncovered -- and I feel like I'm flying. Soaring. High.
Morning rises boil over the surface, like a tea kettle -- a very welcoming thing when "rolling" as my grandmother would say. It begs come in and stay awhile, and I want to do just that...very much. It's a beautiful thing that whatever is happening in life, of two things you can be certain: tea can be made, and trout will still rise. And those, are comforting.
I head for the inlet, put my backpack down, and promptly spook some fish. Damn. Rigging, I feel the nervous tension of not having a rod strung when trout are rising and feel guilty of breaking some sort of fisherman's code of which I remain unaware --> Thou shalt not be in the company of rising trouts without a strung rod. Or some such thing. And anyhow, what if they stop?
But they don't.
I cast, and within seconds a brookie has devoured my dry fly. This has never happened to me before, and I'm ecstatic. Smiling, I look back to find Banjo -- to find someone to share this with -- but he is already at my feet, congratulating. And then I remember the curse.....
I've heard about it before -- hookup on the first cast, then you're fishless the rest of the day. You're jinxed. Old wives, or old fishermen in this case, have their tales and superstitions. Oftentimes for good reason. Go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold; cross your eyes, they'll get stuck that way. Cats strangle babies, and boys have cooties. But icicles form in your hair and all is well. After childhood crossing of eyes, you may now wear glasses but can still see straight. Infancy was survived, even with a house cat. And after a first kiss, you decide that boys might not have cooties after all.
So maybe, just maybe, this first-cast superstition is also just that -- superstition. Yet still, I try to mentally prepare for the hours of fruitless casting which might very well lay before me. Holding my breath, I cast again.....and as soon as my fly hits the water, it's gone. Really?! Really....today is going to be this good?
Banjo looked surprised too...