I went to the Swift yesterday. It is a New Year’s Eve tradition for me on most years. I go below Route 9 on the last day of the catch-and-release regulations.
It was easy to get a prime spot, thankfully, and I spent a few hours throwing size 30 dries to non-rising fish. Some rainbows were huddled and displaying their spawning behavior, chasing each other, and occasionally fluttering to prep a bed. It’s too bad that they come sterile from the hatchery. It’s too bad that the catch-and-keep crowd arrives at midnight to clean out the pools and runs, and I hope that the rumors of poachers and their gill nets are not true.
After a few hours of no takes, I switched to nymphing and was grateful to land a ‘bow. The highlight though was catching a few wild brookies.
I haven’t fished for a while due to having two jobs, and it was nice to be outside. As I’ve written before here and here, fly fishing is good for the brain and one’s happiness. For me, it was refreshing to be in the crisp air, wade in the freezing river, and see some fish. It took a few months to get my Sage #000 repaired after breaking its tip a while back, and it was great to feel it back in the hand.
It’s a good time to conjure more hope, and fishing gives that to me. No matter the conditions, you go to the river with the hope that you’ll land a fish or two. Every fish beyond that I think is upside.
I have many students with family or cultural ties to Israel or the Middle East in general. When they suffer, I suffer. And we are in a time of more suffering in that region. I’ve started to read less news because it has been so horrific and sad.
School is on winter break for a month, but I head back to campus tomorrow to start to prepare for the new semester. A week is plenty of time off for me, and I want to get a jump on things.
Here’s to more hope in 2024. No matter the ups and downs in the news, I’m grateful that I have fly fishing and my fishing friends. It always lightens my mood to hang with the crew or to hit the river.
May this year give us all peace and resilience….