Dillon, CO. Blue River. January 20, 2013.

When I was fishing the other day on the Blue, I caught a fish that reminded me of a time I was fishing down on the San Juan River in New Mexico with my husband. It was just about the same time last year with the weather typical of January – cold, gray and with snowflakes. No matter – I was dressed for it; my body was so warm that my hands didn’t mind not having any gloves on. I was wading near some beaver dams and decided to go downstream a bit to enjoy some solitude and make my mistakes without anyone watching me.

I marveled at being in the middle of a river in January just passing time. I truly didn’t care if I caught a fish or not but as it would be, just as my husband approached me from upstream, I realized I had a fish on my line. In the winter, it’s not uncommon for fish to be almost lethargic and rather blas√© about picking up on a fly, as was the case here. It turned out to be a nice size fish – Shelley on the Bluenot so hard to find on the San Juan – but it never gave me a bit of a fight. In fact, not only did it not give me a fight, when I went to release it, I could swear that the fish was confounded that this could have happened to it again. I know the word is really overused these days, but if the fish could have said something it would have said, “Really? Again?” Poor thing had a hole in the top of its head from a Heron attack or the like. Times like that I’m just as happy to be standing in the middle of a river just watching the snowflakes come down.

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