Saturday, October 9, 2010

Silver Lake

Remember the feeling of gazing across a lake as the sun sets in the background. As the sun retreats behind the mountain, the coolness of evening creates mists which drift and swirl lazily over the surface. The water is nearly as smooth as glass except for a few riffles which glisten like a hoard of gems.

On the far side fishermen wade out in the shallow water to cast their fly to the wary trout. Spin casting and composite fiber rods have not been invented yet. The floating lines are dressed with a lard-like substance to keep them buoyant. The men control the line with the grace of a ballerina as though in slow motion. They roll cast a loop that glides out and settles the fly softly on the water. I’m only about ten years old at this time and perhaps my memory is playing tricks but it seems they cast nearly a hundred yards of line. Impossible, I’m sure. I couldn’t cast a third that distance with the best high-tech gear available today.

How do you paint this picture that lingers in my memory? It’s not colorful, more a contrast of the bright sun and the sparkling water against the deep shadows of the trees and the hills. The mists add the mid-tone grays which grow as the sun retires. The light gathers in a narrowing band at the horizon and the lake’s surface becomes perfectly calm.

It’s nearly time to walk back to camp. The end of another day yet not the end.

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