Saco River Humility

A bright sunny bluebird of a day and the water is some of the most beautiful available to mortals. A White Mountain river in New Hampshire, where the water is clear and cool with a bottom of both alternating and co-habitating freestones, gravel and sand. A mixed hard wood forest provides at least partial shade along its banks. There are scattered fluffy white cotton candy clouds that occasionally break up the blue and a light breeze to cool the brow and just enough to carry a dangling line into your waiting fingers. A perfect day!

It also happens to be in the middle of the day and although not the best time to be fishing such a water, an angler has to take what he can get with time and opportunity. A two and a half hour drive for a few hours of throwing some line around, before having to hit the road again just as the good fishing ought to start.

You would think that the trout would understand such intrepid loyalty of an angler to a gentleman’s sport.

You would think.

All sorts of perfect trout water is fished. The kind of holding spots that you are absolutely positive hold trout. And not just any trout, but you are convinced of big trout.

The imagination and resulting anticipation fills nearly every cast with hope.

There are moments when a fly lands just like it was meant to land and drifts ever so lightly–moments when any self-respecting brown, or for that matter an uppity rainbow, should take that perfectly placed fly for the sheer beauty of it. Any self-respecting trout would–I’m utterly convinced and continue to cast believing that at any moment good sense will return and I’ll have a fish on.

You don’t want a dry–okee-dokee, how about a nymph? You don’t like nymph, how about a streamer? A different dry?

Drifted, skated, stripped and swung. Top, bottom middle and then some.

Are you guys taking a nap? Is the bright sun too much for your sun-glass-less eyes?

Are you on a conference call discussing how to bruise the ego of a poor fly angler?

Don’t you know this is a beautiful day and I drove all the way up here just to meet you?

I mean, I know that there are no bugs around right now, but you could rise at least once and show yourself to your company. Sheeesh.

All right–I give. Whatever your reasons I accept them. If this were a game of where one has to win; then we’ve both won. I had the pleasure of imagining your showing and being in your waters and you have kept your secrets for the day.

You’ve bruised my ego, but it probably did me some good.

I’ll be back and we will give it another whirl.

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~ by John McGranaghan on June 10, 2010.

5 Responses to “Saco River Humility”

  1. Somedays are just like that and some days you just say, “Oh!!!” and tie on the magic. I like when that happens. Nice looking water. I bet theres a big ole fish under that rock in the one picture with the big rock on the left. The great thing about fishing for me is that I enjoy the work whether Im catching them or not. Pretty hard to beat that. I hope your next trip provides more tugging.

  2. Yea–I feel the same way. Its all fishing and although catching fish is better, its wonderful to be on the water in anticipation of a take.
    As the kids say, “its all good”.

  3. John

    I fished that same area of the Saco on June 2 and I had some very nice success. I got a couple of browns in the 16 to 17 inch range and several other fish, mostly brookies and one rainbow. We should try and get together sometime and fish the smaller streams this July, they are purfact at that time of the year.


  4. Yup–that is great water, but they weren’t taking what I was dishing out that afternoon. Three guys before me on the way out also got totally skunked. Not that this made me feel any better, but it made me feel a better. Even so, it is a beautiful place to wade and throw a line.

    I’d like that Lee. Lets stay in touch. I have a spot about mid- state toward the west some, that I’ve been meaning to get to and haven’t. A spot that no one fishes. Found it chasing grouse with the dogs. It would be more fun to show it to someone.

  5. John

    Yes showing a new spot to someone else is a lot of fun. I have introduced a lot of people to the little mountain streams in the white mtns and I think I get just as much pleasure in them having a great time as I do in catching fish. We surely will keep in touch and make a date soon.

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