A wind knot runs through it
It’s Hollywood, all Hollywood.
You see a guy casually walking through the woods, along a stream, with fly rod in tow, it’s Hollywood. And while Brad Pitt could look good almost anywhere, it won’t be as he (actually) strolls along the River that Runs Through It.
Maybe it’s because I’m out of practice, maybe it was just the wind, maybe it’s just the way it’s supposed to be, but my trek through the woods along an unnamed Adirondack backcountry trout pond was anything but “sexy.”
Up the hill, down the path, over the rocks and the roots, carrying waders, a fly rod, fishing net, and trying not to bend the rod tip of the spinning rod I was also taking along did not make for a pretty picture. A stumble on an awkward step only added to the fiasco.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to get out and enjoy an early trout opener. It was special just to be casting a line into water that wasn’t frozen. No, I didn’t catch anything that I could get into the net, instead choosing to practice almost catch-and-release. But even that moment wasn’t picturesque; struggling with the rod in one hand, bent over a rock, twisted at the waist and the knees (in opposite directions) to hold the rod high enough to get the fish in the net, trying not to fall in.
I didn’t, but the fish did. In the movies, they always catch them.
Off to the next pond, we’ve run out of trail (or Steve’s found a “shortcut”) and we’re off through some of the toughest red dogwood tangle I’ve seen in a while. It’s OK until you dive in over your head and can no longer hold the rod high enough to miss the branches and briers that love to reach out and grab a line or a fly or a rod tip. Soon, it’s one step forward and two steps back as you dance with the alder in front of you trying to navigate with a rod, only to be snapped backward as the new on your hip catches on the low-hanging branches.
We reach the water and I’m already exhausted. Choosing to sit for a minute, I untangle the mess at the end of my fly line, pick the pine cones out of my teeth and watch the beaver that we spooked from its bankside home.
“Aren’t you gonna fish?” said Steve in his best “I just bushwhacked our way to this untouched pond filled with fat brook trout and you’re just going to sit there?” voice.
Still trying to catch my breath, I let out a big sigh.
Somehow, I don’t imagine Brad using that tone of voice. But, again, that’s Hollywood.