Somewhere along the line, these sparkling emerald waters crowned with ancient slabs of dull sandstone became my home water. Originally the arrangement seemed to form due to convenience,
I could make it there for a quick session after work in summer.
In the beginning the numbers and size of the fish were nothing remarkable, but I enjoyed knowing the water, every pool, bend and snag. As the summers came and went I learnt to read the mood of the river. The flow, weather and insect behaviour all providing clues as to what could be expected before a fly was even cast. I mastered where to find the fish and where not to waste time. Which fly to cast and what time of day. I knew the likelihood of any cast getting a take before it was even made. When the conditions were right, I could hit all the hot spots and rack up good numbers. But still, the fishing was not as good and the fish not big as many other waters that I preferred to fish when gifted with a full day or weekend.
For all my experience, occasionally, I even still got skunked.
Fishing that river became a routine; routine seemed to bring frustration. Somedays I would be irked if I could not get a rise from a snag I knew always held fish. Eventually, I knew the water so well I could have fished it in the dark of night. And so, I did. Thats when I realised I had been doing it all wrong.
That night, I crabbed my way through the darkness to a hole that usually produced a fish or two. I could not see my line or fly as I cast, but heard it hit the water. That first cast I caught the largest fish I had ever caught in that river. Followed by two more without taking a step.
I thought I had this place figured.