Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Urban Swing

The full moon hung in the pre-dawn sky that had taken on a deep blue-black hue. The woosh generated by cars crossing the Interstate bridge over the Rocky River valley competed with the honking geese to provide the Saturday morning soundtrack. Moonlight illuminated the riffle as a few dark steelhead held in the fast current. I was alone on the river and walked upstream to begin to fish the riffle. Cast, swing, strip, cast. Step, cast, swing, strip cast. Step. Cast, swing, sweep, set the hook. In the riffle a small male slashed and splashed his way across the river. He ran up, then down the river before I was able to pull him into the shallows.

After releasing the fish, I went back to casting and noticed an angler walking upstream carrying his spinning rod broken down into two pieces. He wore a heavy winter coat and hip boots. I said a silent prayer that he'd keep walking upstream. No dice. Instead he waded into the run less than 10 yards downstream of where I was fishing.

This is the downside of trying to swing in an urban fishery. Anglers used to standing on top of fish don't have much respect for anglers using the downstream swing. Nor are they patient enough to wait for a fellow angler to work his way through the run. Instead they just wade right in and start fishing. I continued to swing, pushing the other angler a little more downstream. But his presence ruined the fishing on more than one level and I went for a walk in search of solitude, thankful for the moon and the steelhead.

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