The water is murky with less than a foot of visibility. The water is up in this small creek and deflects off big rocks to cause strong currents and interesting eddys. Detritus, this past falls leaves, swirl and flush downstream. I’m looking for trout, as is usual in this spot, but really don’t expect to find any. Trout are skitterish fish and if I don’t see them first, they are long gone before I even get close. With this poor visibility, my chances are slim. But it’s not always about trout. Most days it’s about experiencing the river on its own terms.
An eddy grabs me and starts to carry me upstream. I try to hold where I am, intent to peek under just one more ledge looking for that brookie or brown, but finally decide just let go, enjoy the ride, go with the flow and worry less about documenting, and think more about experiencing.
I ride the eddy to where it meets a rapid. My upper body gets pulled upstream. My legs dangle out into the main downstream current and I get twirled around.
Case maker caddis are still huddled in divots in the rock, but they are starting to peel their sealing pebbles off the openings of their cases. It still amazes me how they anchor their cases to the rock when it gets cold, and seal the opening with a larger sand grain. Today I got to witness the step wise process they use to get active again when the water warms. They remove the larger grain from the opening, but keep it on their constructed mobile tube of sand grains, just in case it gets cold again, I assume.
Every time I get into water, every time I encounter a stream on its own terms, I find something new to see and learn. Even if it’s just riding eddys, or watching cadis flies unpack from their winter slumber. Get out and explore your local creek, muddy or not. There is always something new to experience and discover.