• The Glass Forest

    I hoped the precipitation would turn to snow by the time I reached the trailhead, but the temperature was still hovering around 32 degrees and it was still raining heavily. It had only dropped a mere two degrees from the time I left home. I contemplated seeking out a roadside wild trout stream in case the weather became unbearable and I needed to call it quits. I also thought about heading back home. As I sat in my truck considering my options I dosed off. When I awoke 30 or 40 minutes later it was still around 32 degrees and raining hard, without a hint of snow mixed in. It wasnít going to get any better. I finally decided to suck it up and go for it. I put all my gear on in the front seat of my truck, which is no easy task these days, and headed out.

    I only walked a couple hundred yards before I realized that it wasnít going to matter if the fishing wasnít very good. During the night, the temperature had dipped below freezing and all of the trees were covered with ice. The leafless, crystalline, branches glistened in contrast to a backdrop of dull gray tree trunks, a brown, late winter forest floor, and green rhododendrons. It was a mystical site to behold.

    Ice shattered as trees snapped and crashed to the ground as I continued towards the stream. Every time it happened I would jump and spin around to see what was charging through the underbrush and coming after me. I quickly realized what was going on and started looking up to make sure I wasnít about to get leveled by a falling tree. Curiously, it never happened in front of me, but always where I had just passed 15 to 45 seconds prior. I guess it was the river godsí way of pushing me onward, ensuring that I made it to the water and didnít turn around.

    The creek wasnít high, but it was fast, clear, and cold. I would only have a limited amount of time before my fingers grew numb making it difficult to tie knots. I kept it simple and went with single nymphs, size #10 to #14, and an indicator.

    I ended up catching three browns and one rainbow in about four hours of fishing. Iím sure I also mistook several takes for the bottom. All of them came from the same type of water Ė where the current slowly picked up speed as the riverbed worked its way back towards the surface, downstream from the deepest parts of large pools. The pools were eight to ten feet deep and the trout were right on the bottom in five to seven feet of water.

    The climb back out was just as spectacular as the hike in Ė without the crashing trees.

    Although the precipitation had ceased a couple hours earlier, the melting ice made it feel like it was still raining steadily. I was thoroughly soaked by the time I got back to the truck. At least it had warmed up a little. It was now about 38 degrees.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Glass Forest started by Lone Wulff View original post