We came off the mountaintop and hit the stream branch two miles up from the river on opening day, 2008, and I headed straight to a sweet little spot I’d fished before, twice last summer. A deep run there drives swiftly down into a sharp bend, creating a cutbank at the curve. I tossed upstream and let my offering drift naturally down to the pool, where a brook trout slammed it and fought briefly before I brought it to hand. He was a fine fat specimen seven inches long, salmon-colored around the belly and fins and gray-green and intricately patterned along the back. I snapped a picture before releasing him, this wild native brook trout, my first fish of the year.
Later I caught up to Brad and Todd, and we worked our way downstream, catching and releasing six brookies along the way, to the confluence of the north and south branches of Redtail Run.
We sat down on a streamside log then, took our sandwiches and water bottles out of our backpack coolers, and relaxed by the gently flowing stream. We sat and looked around at the majestic steep hillsides rising grandly up from the valley floor and the dark green hemlocks sheltering the cool waters.
“If you could pick the five best places to have lunch in the world,” said Todd, “this would have to be one of them.”
I glanced at Brad and we both nodded. “I agree,” I said. “Let’s just sit here and enjoy this for a while.”
Good luck out there. And have a great week outdoors.
~ Don Feigert, 4-23-08