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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Truckee Experience ~ Fishmas Dreams

Friday's energy was building throughout the day for the Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter #103 10th annual fund raiser, Fishmas Eve. I waivered through the hours of the day pinned in my mobile office, catching up on emails, files, and docs, trying to get my ducks in a row. I then had to prepare for a guide trip the next day. After the work was done I just sat and waited with great anticipation for the evening’s events. Fishmas is a real treat for me as I get to see my friends in the fly fishing industry, many are guides like myself, who are pressed when it comes to leisure time. Its functions like these that allow us to just hang out, share a laugh, and raise funds for the Truckee River watershed. As always, a great time was had by all, and so well done. I honestly can’t wait for next year. Special thanks to Stefan McLeod, TU #103 board members, and all of the volunteers who make this special event so successful and fun.

Finally a small decent size storm was moving in that evening with lake levels forecasted for 7”of snow, and 14” on the crest. A pretty major deal after what we have witnessed in Northern California the past 6 months. Knowing I had to perform in the morning no matter the conditions, I slept like crap. I’m bad that way, I worry about the intricate details that affect my guest’s experience, not just the numbers that end up in the net. When I woke up to 5-7 inches of snow, I knew it was going to be a long yet adventurous day. More coffee.

As the F-250 backed down onto the road from the driveway, its tires treading virgin snow, my attitude bumped up a bit and away we went. I thought to myself “Whatever it takes” and smiled. The drive was slow, it was early and most the snowplow trucks had not been out yet to clear the road. Once traveling down Hwy. 89 it got better, and by I-80 it was cake. Arriving at our meeting point, there were just traces of snow, and the storm was clearing on the lower plains of the east slope. I was 45 minutes early, a trait of mine passed down from my father to really prepare for the day. Paperwork endured in the cab of my truck. My guests showed up early too, and after meeting them and going over the game plan, we were off.

First tracks. It’s everything. By board, or by rod, getting freshies has some major valor to it; it’s the feather in your cap. I love the quietness in the Sierra after a snow storm, it’s so still that it seems time stops. The surrounding land was so glorious out, and so surreal that it took my breath away. My guests, who were from Las Vegas, have only been fly fishing for a year, but they have the sickness badly. They are walking sponges, looking for any information while climbing the staircase of progression. When they shared with me that they could care less about catching, and wanted nothing other than learning technical nymphing presentations, it made me smile. I love nothing more to see new fly anglers with such ambition for the sport. The bonus for them was each hooking into a few nice wild trout, and admiring the beauty that they glow. The meadow was alive with songbirds, providing an orchestra of majestic melodies that is so enlightening for your soul. We could all feel her love, as Mother Nature danced around us.

It’s so rewarding to see beginner fly anglers reach the next level and more in just a matter of hours. I’m so fortunate to be able to share and teach my passion, and the knowledge I have experienced over the decades. It’s very clear now why I was put on this earth, what my role is, and why it’s important for me to continue my quest of educating the masses about fly fishing, trout, the flora, the fauna, and the Zen of it all.

The fresh snow had melted leaving only fond memories of the morning while omitting a fresh smell across the mountain valley. Though our day was done, both of my guests were so stoked that you could see and feel the sparkle in their eyes. They both knew just how lucky they were to be able to share a day with their host in the Sierra, and live “The Truckee Experience”.

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