A personal reflection by Laurie Caswell Burke
Wooly Buggers, Prince Nymphs, Egg Patterns and Stone Flies are just a few of the colorful array of flies and streamers tied to a line and cast into the water come April, a time of year when anglers who wait patiently all winter grab their fishing waders, vests and belts and head to their favorite Vermont river or lake.
This year- Saturday, April 9th, opening day of Vermont’s fishing season, was for die-hard fishermen. It was cold and brisk outside. For months I had been hearing the familiar early morning rustle from the closet -my husband, Tim, gathering his waders and other gear for time on a nearby river, Lewis Creek. This particular spot allows fishing year round and one does not have to wait until the official season opening.
With a milder winter this year, avid fishermen didn’t have to wait until April to fish, if they knew where they could legally fish. Often it was still dark outside when Tim gathered his gear. One morning I called out from beneath the covers, “How do you fish in the dark?” “We don’t,” he called back tromping down the stairs at a fast clip. “We make a coffee stop and get to the river just as the sun rises. That’s how you get the prime spots- you can’t be late.” Those few words pretty much summed up how a true fisherman feels – one who wants to ensure the prime fishing spot with hopes that he might just get lucky that day.
Fly-fishing is an art and a science, requiring a significant dose of patience. I can sit on a spit of land on a blanket with a good book and watch my husband cast for hours, often watching the sun fade into the mountains. I love the way the line forms a figure eight and gracefully stretches back and floats across the water. It’s meditative, peaceful and exhilarating combined- at least, when the fish are biting. But even those days when fishing for hours produces no catch, or even a bite, watching the sun glisten on the water washes all tensions away.