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Archive for August, 2010

I see it on billboards, particularly for restaurants… “Cheap prices and good food everyday!” I see it in newspapers, in bars… it has come to the point where I am ready, should I ever see it, to congratulate anyone who properly uses the word on a public sign. Here’s the thing–when it is written as two words (every day), it means occurring on each and every day. The word everyday, on the other hand, has a completely different meaning. According to the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 3rd Ed., “everyday” means “encountered or used routinely or typically: ORDINARY.” and it is an adjective… sigh.

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Vermont is…

a blue-sky day with growing heat as morning gives way to afternoon, and finding still, in the grass seeped in morning shadow, the clinging droplets of last night’s dew.

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Late morning found me carrying my fishing gear the mile or less down to the gentle waters of the Saxtons River above the bridge (and falls) in town. I’m no fisherman, and I have never fished here in Vermont, but my aims were twofold–to see if the recent rains and rising river had magically produced any trout, and to try a few casts with a brand new fly rod.

On my way into town, two weeks ago, I’d been surprised to see how little water there was in the Saxtons River, but was encouraged by seeing some trout in the water up near Grafton, including one recluse who was probably 8-10″ long. Near the town of Saxtons River, though, I didn’t see a fish. Today more of the same.

Granted, I was looking a little before noon, and the water in the Saxtons is so clear that perhaps the fish were well aware of my presence, but still, you’d think I’d catch a glimpse of one, if it were there. And there were good signs… stone fly nymphs and their cases…

and caddis fly larvae. But the thing is, the channel is fairly well scoured, with not much there but rock. There are places to hide a bigger fish, no doubt, and some deeper pools, but a lack of bank structure… could this have something to do with the missing fish?

And so, eventually, with little hope, I put the rod together and strung it. Now, the rod I was using in Washington, New Mexico, and recently broke in the Conejos River of southern Colorado, was part of a Cabelas started kit (“Fish Eagle traditional”). It did the job wonderfully, but I wasn’t prepared for the difference in the new rod. It’s a Temple Fork Outfitters TiCr X rod, and immediately I could feel how supple this rod is. It makes the old one quite stiff. It’s going to take a little getting used to. Unfortunately, other than the rod, my fishing remains largely the same. After about 8 casts I managed to hit the rod with the fly and produce a moderate tangle, but recoverable. Five casts later I heard a snap in the trees behind me and saw my fly land in the water next to me, unattached. This is how it goes.

But still, today I “fished” a new river in a new state, with a new rod. Not a bad morning. There are worse things, after all, than sitting on a river rock, stringing up a fly rod, while the sun breathes warmly on your neck and arms. Maybe a little breeze to ease the growing heat of the day, and always, always, the gentle sound of running water all around you. It is a beautiful world.

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