Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Which Way Would You Go? - March 2011


It changes at the old three-turbine power station.

Upstream there are miles of hard-ass rock hopping and wild browns. Downstream there are miles of easy roadside access and stocked whatever. Upstream there’s steep, skinny water and fish that flee at shadows. Downstream there’s wide, flat riffles and pods accustomed to pellets. Upstream the trout are as small as their habitat, and smart. Downstream they’re as fat and dumb as the day they poured out of the truck.

Now, I don’t mean to denigrate fishing for stocked trout. Lord knows, I do it often enough myself. But if you had the choice, if you had the chance, to chase the wild ones, would you? Would you if you had to sweat bullets and bang your knees to do it? Would you if, instead, you could catch eight, ten, a dozen stockers for every wild fish netted – that is, if you netted any wild fish at all? Would you if you knew with absolute, unconditional certainty that you'd get back to the car bruised and bloodied and spent?

It changes at the old three-turbine power station.

Upstream it’s lonely and it's wild and it's hard. Downstream, it’s not.

Which way would you go?


Rerun Note: A short post, but posing a tantalizing question. It was one of those pieces that just popped out complete - practically writing itself. I wish more of them would do that.

6 comments:

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Great little post...and I know which way I'm headed , see ya up there.

Mark C said...

I always went up and this post makes more than a little homesick. Great post, Mike!

M

Trout Magee said...

The road less traveled sounds good to me. I love a good challenge and sometimes enjoy bloodying the knees to get to it. I'll be heading to where the river begins and the Browns run wild. Great post and awesome pic. Looks like a great place to stop and have a lunch right before heading up into the wild ;) Tight Lines.

Sanders said...

Up...always up.

Great read!

Fontinalis Rising said...

Mike, your writing is amazing as always, and I agree with Sanders- up.

Fishing bamboo said...

I always try to go where less people go. It is normally worth the journey