“I’ve known rivers; Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” (Langston Hughes)
July 13, 2005: Today, after traveling almost eight hours and eleven miles on the Snake River in Wyoming, I began to understand how one can form an affinity for a river. The character of the Snake was vastly different than the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho. I almost formed a love-hate relationship with the water. The beauty was spectacular — fast water, wild, varied shades of green, and a sandy beige found along the banks and shoals. However, the current was wicked, playing havoc with my casts and fly. At times the river was gentle, allowing me to be more successful in my presentation and in length of drift. Then sudden reversals forced me to be more aggressive in my attempts to place my fly in the feeding channels.
The Snake was not about to yield any sizeable trout. The fast water made it extremely challenging to see my fly and recognize strikes. All the trout I caught today were small cutthroat. I did catch one white fish about 16 inches long fishing a great riffle in the morning, but that was a generous as the river was going to be today.
I admired and appreciated Leslie’s adept handling of the drift boat as she navigated the water. Not only is Leslie a “reel” woman, she was also a good teacher. Leslie’s patience extended to replacing broken leaders, tippets, and lost flies as well as helping me to wade in rocky areas. I was so grateful to her for making this experience such an exciting and rewarding one.
As I sit and reflect upon the day, my semi-circular canals are telling me I am still on the river. It’s a sense of perpetual motion — gentle swaying from side to side and up and down while moving forward. The only way to maintain one’s balance is to “go with the flow.”