Sunday, July 29, 2012

Some Clarity

The other day I was floating on a stream in Alberta that I'm in the process of learning and really appreciating.  I had two 'sticks' with me and I spent the first part of the day in a state of bliss has fly line floated in the air above the boat creating  an almost majestic pattern.  I imagined that if the line was pointed with an ink ball and the sky a canvas a masterpiece would have been created....that feeling may have coincided with the onset of the Tylenol 3's that I ingested in order to subdue the pains of my massive sore and swollen throat.  Regardless of the catalyst in that emotion, it was a moment in which I felt clear about my choice in life to pursue a career in guiding...flash forward a few hours and the T3's have worn off; I can't speak a word because I've lost my voice and I'm wishing horribly that I can tell the anglers to back off the soft water and the bank and hit the heavier seams in the faster more oxygenated water.  And of course hitting a grass blade from 60 feet is not a problem for either of my guests in the boat so no matter how far I pull the boat away from it they're still nailing it.

 Two days later on the  Elk  I have my voice back and I can convey my message to present the fly where I feel it should be and the fish actually start to respond on a more frequent level.  I can feel the transition occur as water clears and big fish slide into their lanes to do what they came here to do....grow.  Despite the murky and high water the fish have been feeding on the Elk and most of what I'm hooking is fat and large.  Numbers have been solid but size has been the standout of the two measures.

Michael Poulin Lifting Weights on the Elk River

It's been a lot of waiting and wondering and it's nice to see the river clearing up and seeing the bottom of all this is refreshing.  Alberta treated us well during the murky times and I really enjoy the moments I spend angling on the eastslope.  The Elk is on...alive with caddis, stoneflies and a smattering of mayflies.  The river is dropping new buckets, riffles and runs are showing themselves and the fish are starting to look at the ceiling instead of needling around in the basement.

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