Sometimes, when you fish still waters, nothing happens. Nothing really rises, at least nothing like a trout. You figure-8 a chiro, nothing. There’s mud in the water, and it’s a little hot. You could go with a streamer, or you could go back home and ask yourself why on earth you insist on fishing such places. You could reboot your karma from scratch, send everything to hell, go looking for a summer job in British Columbia. Look after cattle in an estancia south of Neuquén. But you made yours the philosophy of ‘beard’ Crapo: there is no substitute for paying your dues. Just have to be willing to put yourself out there and take what comes.*

Rather than fishing blind and heavy, and lacking this science of water in which I am still a newborn and which would tell me what to do, I prefer to change the scale. Because, looking closer, you’ll see there’s some action just under the wavelets, but it’s small. Rudds. It’s a good time to take your lightest rod, redo the leader in 7X, and tie a small thing. Rudds, god bless them, have a face looking up, they love the film. And they’ll give you a fraction of a second to strike. Just what you need to feel the tension, the total focalization, the zone, where you find what you come fishing for.

My tadpole lost its virginity to a bunch of rudds. I could have dream something fancier, but after all it was just fine.

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*Words of bearded wisdom, generously dispensed in the coms of his opus magnus, dedicated to beards. Of note: Gierach, being as good in conversation as he is in his books.