Monday, March 14, 2011

The Promise of Spring

Unlike the basement of winter, hope in spring seems eternal. An entire season is spread out before you like a buffet at a local eatery. Trip ideas that were mere fragments--so many pipe dreams--are now close enough to see clearly.

Winter is, in many ways, an off season. While you may fish, it is more of an exhibition. Can you catch a trout before the top half of your rod ices shut? How much icy water can you stand in before you retire those leaky waders? These are questions winter fishing is good for answering. At its core, winter is a season of survival. Spring, on the other hand, is the season you survive for. It is a season of promise. And here, at the starting line, you can remember why in each object you encounter.

You can see it in an empty cassette of a new reel, waiting for the backing to cover the matte black finish. You can see it in a fresh batch of sparkle duns, the zelon shucks catching the light in a way that fills you with confidence. You can see it in your lawn that has been buried under snow for months but now gives way a  drab crochet of brown grass and leaves--a beige mess that is beautiful because it is not white.

You can see the promise of spring in all these things. But mostly you can feel it in the spring air, slightly warmer each day, hanging on through the drive home from the office, the flat sun lining through the trees. The bugs are coming--blue wing olives and mother's day caddis by the thousands--and the noses of trout pushed up through the surface to greet them. They are coming.

Perhaps, they are here already. 

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