Thursday, November 21, 2013

First Light

The plan was to pack up the gear and have the truck ready to roll the evening before, allowing me to stumble from bed and into the driver’s seat with a minimum of fuss and delay. But our neighbors from the lower ridge dropped by and a pleasant afternoon visit turned into an impromptu dinner, which then morphed into a late night shooting-the-breeze and solving-the-world’s-problems session out on the screened porch. Fine friends, good food, and regular refills tend to precipitate such things around here.

So, instead of an early departure, I awoke the next morning, fuzzy-headed, unprepared, and went about gathering the waders, rods, and piles of paraphernalia that follow me to trout waters. The task, and the fuzz, put me on the road an hour later than I had hoped.

Okay. Maybe closer to two.

On those days that I head west, into the Appalachians, I normally get away before the sun makes an appearance. Day trips that require a three or four hour drive, each way, demand a wee-hour start so the crossing of the bridge downstream of the house is typically done in darkness. It turns out, that’s been a blessing.

For what I saw this particular morning as the sun rose out of my truck bed made me question why I was leaving. I won’t try to describe it. I don’t have the skills.

Let's simply say that the old axiom “Don’t leave fish to find fish” seemed to apply to streams as well and I considered turning around, putting the pickup back in the driveway, and strolling down to wade my home waters. And while there’s no trout there, I felt certain I could coax a sluggish largemouth from the cool Piedmont flow. To be sure, I’d find no prettier surroundings to the west.

But I was already on the road and the trout stuff was packed. It seemed foolish, at that point, to return. In truth, it might have been foolish to have packed it in the first place. I spent the day wondering.

Wondering, and vowing that, next time, I'd be sure to be long gone before first light.


  1. next time you are ready to hit the "home waters"…let me know...

  2. I've never seen the river glass like that. Great pic. I haven't fished that river since mid summer. I need to get out there.

  3. Dani, I'm always ready. Pick a time and we'll wander down the hill.

    Ain't it the truth, Steve. Ain't it the truth.

    The Haw's a constant surprise, Kevin. Just when you think you know it, it shows you something new. This view truly stopped my in my tracks.

  4. FYI, sounds like what you needed to clear your head so early in the morning was a good BM. I always function better with a clear...head. Splendid photo, BTW. Very serene, soothing.

  5. You can rest assured, Kirk, that at my age there's no better way to start the day. And thanks.

  6. Love this... great work, my friend.

  7. Thanks Chris. Sorry you weren't reading it from Mexico.

  8. What? Are you crazy? You left that beautiful water behind to go fish for...trout?

  9. Not sure what I was thinking, Howard. Perhaps I wasn't.

  10. Some guy probably drove over from the other side of the Appalachians to fish your river.

    Probably passed on the road.

  11. You're probably right, Tom. But the nice thing about my river is that few fish it. It's simply a bitch to wade. See the pics from my 11/5 post and you'll get an idea why.


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