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Ronan's report


Tuesday 17th May, 2011

We all do it, think that things will be better around the corner. At some point we know we should stop and take advantage of what it is that we are passing... it isn't always better around the next bend. 900 kilometers is a long way to be reminded of that.

Right from the first light of the sun I had high expectations for the day. Despite the reason for the trip, I figured I would see my first brown of the season, maybe catch my first trout on a dry this year, or find an arctic grayling in some pool.

The first 4 hours of the drive was slow and painfull, every trout bearing water I crossed was flowing fast and blown to the colour of chocolate milk. I was expecting that, so I wasn't disappointed. Crossing some of central Alberta's trout streams 5 hours into the drive and they were a little clearer. I should have stopped there, but since the foothills melt had occured, I though the streams would be better around the next bend. I was right... the streams got better. From the agricultural streams up the slopes to the foothill streams, everytime I crossed a creek it got a little clearer.

I did have an ultimate goal in mind... a beautiful mountain meadow stream with big spotted brown trout, tough to catch but worth getting your belly wet crawling up to them. Every time I crossed a stream that looked clearer, all I could do was imagine how great that little creek would be.
I passed over some very nice water...

Finally by mid afternoon I crossed the front range of mountains and found myself in the little valley carved when the creek drained a glacier. Breath-taking at first glance, the sun sparkled like diamonds on the water. Deep blue sky, dark green spruce. Red willows and brown grass, I couldn't wait to drive down to the valley floor to get a closer look at the ribbon of glass meandering through the meadow. It had taken me six hours to get here, but I had arrived.

As I drove I began to notice that something wasn't right. The willows were flooded! The creek was brown and flowing over ice. Apparently this valley didn't realize it was supposed to be inbetween ice melt and runoff.

If only I had stopped and fished that clear little stream an hour before. With 400 kilometers left to drive, I couldn't go back. From that point on I would kick myself everytime I crossed a muddy creek. As I crossed into a different drainage basin (the rivers from that point now flow into the Arctic Ocean), the fishing regulations changed and the season remained closed.
I had missed my chance.

At some point you have to be happy where you are at... that last bend can come to fast and then everything is over before you know it.

Trying to slow down...
Harps


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