3
Jul
2012
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It Was What? It Was Where?

I awoke this morning to find that I had – to borrow a phrase from earlier generations – “a wild hare up my ass.” 

Note:  To my vast and growing legion of international followers (“Hello Iceland, Atlantis and Lemuria!”), as well American ESL (English as a Second Language) learners, I suggest that you consult your dictionaries for the word “hare” which should not be confused for “hair” and certainly not “heir.”  I also urge you to understand the difference between figurative and literal statements and recognize that the above declaration is the former and not the latter.

Rising from bed, I began assembling a modest assortment of fly fishing tackle for the purpose of surveying the rainbow trout population in a small local stream – or as it is known in less scientific and sophisticated circles – fishing.  Over 25 years ago I assisted the Department of Fish and Game in the last planting of the stream and it is remarkable that despite unbelievable hardships the progeny of those fish continue to survive.

I have visited them periodically over the years and a recent report of fish that had moved upstream whetted my appetitite for an expedition.  Were the stream not so small, fragile and vulnerable, I would mention its name.  Although very aptly named, I will not state that it was eponymously named.  I don’t like that word and until two years ago I’d never seen or heard it.  Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of sightings of late and except for it somewaht rhyming with with hippopatamus, I have no use for it.  Should I take up writing safari poetry – maybe.

Otherwise, I will only mention it disparagingly, which I think I have already done elsewhere.  I’m certain writers who seem fascinated by it will continue to use it, so be prepared to read of such things as the “eponymously named” Fats Domino, Sunset Cliffs and Beaver Creek.

In less than an hour I was walking along a road looking for a suitable trail down to a tiny creek that alternately appeared and disappeared in the streambed.  Sage and greasewood dominated the dry stretches while stinging nettle, wild rose and poison oak guarded the wet spots which were typically under a smothering canopy of willows.

The stream itself ran one to three feet wide, four to 12 inches deep and was filled with an assortment of vegetation that included wild celery and watercress.  Nice for a salad, but for fishing, not so much.

Instead, I decommisoned the rod and simply walked the stream and observed.  The trout were spread out, wildly wary and warily wild.  Most were six to eight inches and the largest might have pushed 10 or 11 inches.  Several were observed rising to take small caddis and mayflies from the surface film.

Fish of one to two inches in length darted about, but I could not tell if they were young of the year rainbows or sticklebacks.

I was only there for a couple of hours and didn’t catch any fish, but left with the satisfaction that over 25 years ago I spent a like amount of time helping carry buckets of fingerlings down to the stream to watch them swim away and wonder what would become of them.

On this day, it was, a “wild hare” that helped me find the answer.

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