Fishes and fires

Crouched in the grass by the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Rio Grande, I glanced over my right shoulder at the smoke billowing miles away.

“If we start feeling serious heat on the backs of our necks we will have to high-tail it out of there,” I thought. “If it gets hairy, fast, we might even have to swim.” But the fire was distant, and my inclination was to catch that which is wild, not allow my imagination to run the uncivilized route.

The trouts were the spookiest I’d seen in a long, long while; staying low was a necessity. Combined with wind charging down the right ear, it seemed a most excellent problem to solve.

fish and fire

The skittish rainbow ate the fly, I snapped the pic, and the fish darted away. A simplistic scenario, and yet now morphing surreal as the very spot where the event took place could very well end up engulfed in flames.

In retrospect, I internally debate whether the fish I stalked that afternoon knew something ominous was headed their direction, hence their hyper-tentativeness. I’d like to think nature works that way, providing fair warning that can be interpreted by those in its realm. At minimum I hope those fish are intelligent, prepared, enlightened, conscious adversaries, or the angling puzzle is just not as challenging as I aspire it to be.

MG signing off (because life finds a way, that much is certain)

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