No matter how much we stared at them, the snow drifts covering the road refused to melt.

I wasn’t really surprised; in this part of the world, the snow level is currently around 5500 feet. But you know, this road and this pass were going to be different. Then we rolled around the corner just past 5400′ and the dream of being the first into a small alpine stream died.

Snow drifts mean no fishing this stream...

The moment hope died...


Every time this happens I go through the usual stages; denial, anger, bargaining, depression over the lack of realtime satellite intel and finally, acceptance.

Usually, I don’t reach acceptance quickly. For a minute, I knew — despite the old tires — the Bronco could blow through the drifts, but even my fevered brain couldn’t ignore another set of *deeper* drifts waiting up ahead, and many more after that.

I pointed at the medium-sized streams of water running down the road and said “two weeks” and Older Bro nodded, though we both know it’s still just an attempt at grownup behavior.

That’s still too early to expect to make it into this stream, even given the light snow year.

Fortunately, our backup stream fished beautifully, and:

  • We caught pretty brown trout on dry flies
  • We tested a new fly rod against an old favorite (and arrived at opposite conclusions)
  • I firmed up a wader review (coming soon)
  • The “new” water I first fished last trip fished nicely again

Unfortunately, because were a little reluctant to walk away from catchable fish, we got to our Highly Experimental Stretch Of A Creek That Should Fish Great But Hasn’t a little late. This is the water that we’ve now fished (admittedly briefly) three times, yet despite looking absolutely perfect, it has yet to give up a single fish.

Or even a take.

We’ve crafted a whole series of worthwhile excuses for it — and I’ll be back again sometime soon — but after a while, you start to wonder about the nature of reality.

If a damned trout would just eat a dry fly, the universe would snap right back into its proper place.

Until then, everything feels just a tiny bit out of true, and I suspect it will remain so until I go back and invest a couple hours in the place, figuring it out or writing it off.

More to come as I get things written for my clients, Tom Chandler.