Waters & words

Merciful professor of mathematics and Trout

Before leaving the hospital, I was careful to check with the surgeon that he did indeed recommend fly-fishing the following day as part of my recovery program. He confirmed that with my feet in the water and some beer going in the other end, my very recently attended to kidney would be happy as can be.

By the following morning the effects of the general anaesthetic had worn off enough that when PD texted to say “are you up to this” I replied in the affirmative without hesitation, and he was forced to overcome his own stress induced lethargy, and come over to help me load the canoe.

We fished one of the lower lakes on the farm. An easy water, where the fish are obliging.

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The water was still clear, if one  can ignore elements of milkiness , and we declared it fishable. This was quite surprising, since in the four weeks prior to the day we had barely seen the sun, and we oscillated from drizzle to violent storms daily. Two hundred millimetres in four weeks if I am not mistaken, and water was gushing from everywhere.

Today however was clear, hot and calm. Apart from a puffy white cloud spotted to the North, that PD claimed authoritatively was a cumulo scrotus. I questioned him on that classification, since he is not a geography teacher, but he was sticking to his guns. The cloud, whatever its name, didn’t turn into anything in the end. So it was a day of hats, sunglasses and sun cream. More beach going weather than fly-fishing weather perhaps, but we were here and we were going to fish.

We anchored the canoe at a favourite spot, and duly proceeded to solve the world’s problems, while absent mindedly throwing trout flies as part of the ritual. We certainly weren’t concentrating a whole lot. Pd lost one. I landed one. I don’t believe we even stopped talking.

At some point we moved to “over there”, after PD dropped a flybox in the boat, and we concluded that the area was now “done”. PD had a take, and I managed to land another. This one, although the same 15 inches or so in length, was unlike the earlier Rainbow in its colouration. Its back was a beautiful, almost translucent, cerulean and turquoise hue, and its spots were black and sparse. Lovely fish.

“Your cousin needs tea”, PD announced, so we headed for shore, where we put up a light rig each, and cast DDD’s out into the faint ripple made by a welcome breeze. As we sipped our tea and watched our flies, a small fish appeared to jump right over the belly of my line, and we spotted several others rising off to the east. But we didn’t connect, and it was getting hotter.

Time for a cold beer, and a drive up the hill to check on the condition of the top dams after all this rain. We viewed the dam on the hill from the ridge, where we ate some sandwiches, and talked parenting, famine in North Africa, and five weight fly rods. We were a way off, but we could see that this little lake had clearly recovered from its winter inversion. It’s waters were sparkling again, and to our relief we saw some rises in the shallows. The fish had survived that awful looking water.

On to the leaking dam. As we crested the rise we saw four crowned crane on the water’s edge, and no sooner had we taken in that lovely sight, than we saw fish rising. Rising confidently. In the shallows, just below us. We checked the time. No we didn’t have time. We both had curfews, and time was not our friend. “Aw …write them up in the log book anyway” said PD. “We would have caught them anyway. Come on , you get a three pounder and I get two of two and a half pounds each. Taken on size 12 DDD’s. ………. “

“ Good, that’s settled then”.

The merciful professor of Mathematics and Trout. That’s what I call him.

We headed home. Our souls restored a little.

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