As it is often said, fish well, do good...
With restrictions on social gatherings putting a damper on fundraising, many in the fly fishing community turned to small social media auctions to fund worthwhile projects and community relief efforts. Jennifer and I recently auctioned off a trip to benefit the Fly Fishing Collaboratives Belize project, and the winning bidder was a lovely lady from the state of Washington. Getting a chance to meet new friends, spend a day on the river, and help a good cause is a win-win in my book.
We met up at Warm Springs before the sun had even thought about showing its face, fueled with pastries and high hopes. Sherry gathered her gear as Jennifer and I stuff food, cameras, and way too many Spey rods into my trusty Clack-a-craft, pushing off as night released its grip on a new day.
Above the canyon rim, clouds promised to prolong the perfect conditions for swinging up a Steelhead. Optimism filled the boat.
Our first stop was a sweet run that provided Jennifer the chance to fine-tune Sherry's Spey cast while I limbered up a new line combination. Jennifer does the heavy lifting when it comes to dialing in rod/line combos, but this line had been kicking around in my gear bag, just waiting for me to spool it up. Her recommended grain window just happened to match the digital readout, and giving credit where credit is due; she was spot-on. The diminutive Winston 12' 5 wt Air acted like a powerhouse demanding more line from the reel with each cast.
We covered the water well, enjoying unusually pleasant weather and great conversations. Laughter echoed across the water, and there was no doubt our new friend was having a grand time.
When hunger started to tug at our focus, I set the gals up on a nice seam to fish down to where lunch would be waiting. Then pulled out all the stops. Comfy chairs at the water's edge, a table set with linen, and piping hot fajitas prepared on the Skottle. There might have even been a south of the border adult beverage involved.
Once nourished and rested, we continued on our quest with renewed optimism but realistic expectations. Our passing conversations with others on the river had revealed an overwhelming lack of success for reasons only the river knows. When angling for Steelhead, the proper mindset helps prepare oneself for the task at hand. Each cast holds the promise of improving skills or connecting to the treasures hidden beneath the shimmering water, and each float down that magical river brings new friendships and memories.