Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Morning Rain of Steel

Dawn's early light was delayed by an overcast sky and a light rain. Perhaps it was the threat of rain that kept others in bed. But Rebecca and I met in the parking lot a little after 6:30 and walked across the field toward the pine trees lining the Rocky River. We waited for the light to increase and Rebecca began to swing a white minnow fly with a hare's ear dropper through a promising stretch that had held a few fish (and many suckers) the evening before. (Flow was 200 cfs and water temp 45) Rebecca is an inexperienced but skilled angler. She promptly landed a sucker with no mess and no fuss. Fifteen minutes later, as the light pierced the cloud-covered sky a few steelies could be spotted holding in the fast water.

All morning I looked over my shoulder expecting other anglers to join us on the water. Remarkably our only company was a few Canada geese and a male mallard. Somewhere above the clouds one could hear airplanes approaching or departing from Hopkins. Otherwise the only news was the rush of water and a few geese honks. Quiet at dawn in the city of Cleveland on a beautiful river. Priceless.
Rebecca stood upstream of me on the bank and swung her flies toward the fish while the rain continued to fall. She promptly hooked a large male, which shook its head with anger. After a brief fight the fish ended the battle by shaking the hook loose. No worries, a few drifts later Rebecca had tied into another, slightly smaller, male. She patiently fought the fish, shifting the rod from one side to the next. The fish made a few furious runs bur Rebecca didn't overreact and managed the fish like a veteran. A few minutes later the fish came to the bank and posed briefly for a picture. Rebecca gently and patiently held the trout in the cold water waiting for the fish to regain his strength. The fish swam away under her watchful eye. She returned to the bank, picked up the fly rod and resumed swinging for steelies.

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