I did not fish at all Sunday, preferring to sit back, read the Sunday Times and listen to the music of Courthouse Creek bouncing off the rocks.
It was good to be alive.
Monday was different. As I approached the fire station bridge, I could see numerous trout rising in the placid pool. (Note rise ring under the bridge)
I had caught a couple rainbows, one fairly large, just downstream but could not entice the huge brown I just knew was lurking in the deeper part of a rapidly dwindling river. The water was low, despite recent rains, and warm, up in the 70s at the Davidson River a little lower down.
It was about 65 degrees on the North Fork when I went out, and there was quite a bit of action upstream, although I never saw any caddisflies or mayflies.
I tied on a No. 16 CDC caddis and let her rip.
As I worked my way upstream, missing a good trout in what I call the shaded tree pool, I noticed lots of rising trout closer to the bridge. I carefully made my way over some rocks along the side, trying not to make a spectacle of myself and scare the fish.
I was just about in a perfect position when I noticed some movement up on the bank. I was a man. Clad in blue denim coveralls, boots and a ball cap. His cheeks puffed out to one side. He still had that scraggly black beard that was cut short. He was jabbering about something, but I could not hear a word over the rushing water behind me.
It was Buddy.
He is a talkative sort of country boy and I finally made out that he had just bought himself a flyrod and WalWart or some big box store and had been practicing in his yard slinging flies in the grass. Hope he didn't hook one of his neighbor's dogs.
Buddy said he just wanted to watch.
OK, Buddy, watch away. But you scared all my trout.
I gleaned this much from the one-way conversation - his daddy will eat any fish, and his momma likes to catch trout.
Buddy don't care much for trout.
But he can filet a gar (one of those funny-looking fish people further south catch. They had long noses and a gastor-like mouth. Lots of teeth.)
Buddy said he caught one in Florida, sliced that bugger up in filets and cooked em up. Yum.
But he don't care much for eating trout.
Daddy, who is known to have shot trout from the top of the bridge, will eat anything.
I got a little concerned with the warm water when I caught several little bluegill the size of potato chips.
I never used to catch those warmwater fish up that high (about 3,500 feet).
But they were all pretty.
Buddy left after a while, and I caught a couple more trout.
It was good to be alive.
It was better to be alone.