A NEW RIVER
by Gary Willmart
Springtime, a time for new awakenings, the whole world comes alive, arising from the grip of winter
The mighty San Juan River roars with a new life as water is released from the dam at ten times its normal volume. The river empties of people as the water rises into every nook cranny and side channel Trout everywhere, gorging themselves on the bounty of food being flushed into the river by the power of the high water.
Who says the San Juan is crowded, not now, look up, look down, as far as the eye can see, few or no other fishers. Oh, what a different river it is now. Feel the power of the water against your legs, pushing and pulling at you as you wade to your favorite or new spots. For safety, especially if you do not know the river, float the river with a guide for an awesome experience. Fish stacked in places of old and new.
Forty or fifty tight lines in a short period is the norm. “Fish on” is the constant cry, as is “fish off”, as the trout uses the power of the current to shake our small hook. A magnificent time to be on the river with a favorite fishing buddy, showing him or her the wonders of our new river, seeing the awe and a little fear of the rushing water. Breaking the current and leading the way to secret places. Cast here, cast there, see all those big trout.
Listen to the sound of the river, it’s alive now. In a few short days it’s sound will be muffled again and we will give our New River back to the faint of heart who will never know what treasures it holds during high water. Try it once and you will be hooked for life, returning for every high water period.
Listen to the sounds of the Redwing Blackbirds, the ducks and geese, the splash of Muskrats and Beavers. See the beauty all around you. Trout swimming in trails that will be dry in a few days.
Listen close and you know “fishing buddies” from the past are at our sides looking down from heaven’s gate smiling and yelling “fish on” with us.
How we relish this special time on the river, me and my fishing buddies, catching these fat, strong trout.
June, 2016 originally written in 1999 by avid fisherman and former San Juan River guide.
Posted by permission of the author.