After experiencing the hottest August on record (average high temp was just under 106º), and with September not providing much more relief, the sudden thirty degree plunge last week triggered the autumn fishing twitch within me. Waking to Las Vegas temperatures in the fifties and highs barely reaching sixty, not to mention the clouds with their needed precipitation… well it was all more than I could withstand last week. So I planned a quick one-hour visit to Cold Creek in between dropping Evan off at high school and feeding Emily breakfast (thank goodness Emily is a late morning riser).
I’ve been pondering a trip to Wayne Kirch or southern Utah for October. September is usually tough because it marks the return to school for our boys, and this year was impossible what with back-to-back weeks of extended work travel. And so my sights were recalibrated to October knowing I’d have to maneuver around Denise’s birthday. But waiting longer still with such crisp weather at hand was torturous. I wanted to cast upon the water of a cold Friday morning even if it was more about the ritual of fumbling with my equipment than of actually catching fish. There is something soothing, even ceremonial about the stringing up of my fly rod and inspecting the leader, repairing where necessary, and tying on a small, weighted nymph. There is the therapeutic casting of the rod, feeling it ebb and flow with each thrust of the back and forward casts, and then shooting line to the target. After watching the line roll out as planned, then starts the anticipation as you start to strip the line in, awaiting the tug of a strike. I’m sure I’ve saved thousands of dollars that would have gone to a therapist or shrink, so I guess I shouldn’t be too concerned.
If fishing is my vice, I am only thankful it’s not too destructive because I have a hard time resisting it when it starts sweet talking me.
I knew they had not yet stocked the pond, so action would be slow, if any at all. I have long believed that trout can’t survive the heat of the summer in that pond, not to mention the low oxygen levels from weed growth in the diminutive, shallow pond carved 5,900 feet into the high desert slope of the Spring Mountains. I have still yet to catch a trout in the fall preceding the October stocking, and this Friday proved no different, although I did see the occasional surface feeding rings that seemed more like a trout than a trash or exotic fish would have made. Still, nothing conclusive was learned on Friday, especially since I went without catching any trout or feeling any trout-like strikes.
When I arrived at the pond there was a man sleeping in his SUV right next to the pond. Just after I started fishing he emerged from the vehicle, inspected the irrigation channel inlet, and then drove away. I became the sole beneficiary of the pond for the next hour, with a sub-forty degree temperature to go with it. It was breathtaking, even though I have experienced it for over thirty years now. The “gift” came with feral horses all around, and the stallions seemed especially frisky and energetic (in which season do wild horses mate?). I could feel their energy, and it felt invigorating.
Even though it was only an hour, it was a wonderful hour.