I carefully threaded the needle between two logs that were in place before me and dropped my streamer perfect. Almost instantly a dark “Mountain Mako” fires out and crushes my streamer. I miss, but he gave up his location. Now more at the ready, I hit the small pool again. The brookie fires out from under his lair, and misses my fly. My next cast I knew was make or break as he was sure to be catching on by now. Another perfect cast, but this time I hooked the fish. A sudden rush of adrenaline poured over my body as I lifted my trophy closer to me. I took a step back, and admired the downright beauty of this fish.
The first thing that you notice on any mountain bookie is his fins. Each fin, the pectoral fin, dorsal fin, adipose fin, all were so bright orange that they almost looked painful to the touch. The black and white stripes on the outside edges so pure and crisp that it looked like they were painted on there with a fine felt tip marker. Looking at these mere 6” fish may seem boring to some, but as you look deeper you can see his bright blue halos surrounding pink spots, their beauty consumes the soul. These “Blue Halos” are about the most beautiful sight in fly fishing. Next, you notice his camouflage and his light green, and dark green colored vermiculation that cover his back. Lastly, you see his large eye and slightly over sized head with the beginnings of a hooked jaw. I waited almost 4 months for this sight, and it lasted a mere 4 seconds. Just enough time to snag a picture of him, and return him to his lair.
To me this is as close to heaven as a blue line fisherman can be. I am literally miles away from anyone else, fishing a stream that does not have any of man’s intrusions, looking at the most beautiful creature that god has ever put on this earth. This is what I live for these days. Getting to touch heaven even if just for a few hours a week, is enough to keep my heart full. As I watched this brookie swim off I said a prayer for him.
I won’t go into detail, but I wished him luck, I prayed that he make it until fall to create more of the fish I love. I prayed that he not succumb to a mink, or other predator that wants to use his flesh to survive. My last prayer was that someday we meet again. All of this happens in literally the time it took you to read this paragraph, maybe less, but time truly does slow down when I am on these mountains streams, seconds and minutes can feel like hours. I am not plagued my work, or stresses in my life so each second seems to last longer.