It had been several weeks since I had been on the waters back home, and to say I was anxious would have been an understatement. With a flash flood only a month removed, the fact that changes could have occurred should have been 1st on my mind. As I drove down the access road and turned to cross the spring, I noticed it appeared that nobody had been through there in a while. But nothing really registered. Rigging, I did look out and notice that the stream appeared wider, and the hole below was far less defined than normal. Still nothing. For some odd reason, I grabbed my wading staff. Odd for me on this stretch? It wasn't until I was 20 feet from the bank in waist high waders, my feet barely holding ground, and my wading staff humming and vibrating like a suspension bridge cable in a hurricane. That is when it hit me. Things had changed. I was not going to be able to turn around. So, it was either get across or get wet, as each newly created channel challenged me as I crossed. Miraculously, I found myself dry, but exhausted and stumbling my way through the gravel on the far side. Pushing reality out of my head, that on the return trip my weaker side would be downstream. It was a thought that I really was not prepared to deal with just yet. Until then, I would fish.
The morning did not let me down. The water gave up 3 fat browns, all near clones of the 1st to find the net. All were hooked on a #14 Apricot McFlyfoam egg with a Steelhead Orange yoke. They were holding in the head of the runs and taking hard to the point where you felt headshakes the second you set the hook.
The trip back across was an exhausting 15 minutes. With one very close slide of about 5 foot downstream. Upon reaching the far bank I stood looking out over the water. At first glance it looked so unchanged and harmless. That, and the fact that when I arrived, I was solely focused on getting a line in the drift. So much so that I failed to pay attention on familiar water. Facts that remind me of just how quick a situation can get ugly, even in the comfort of waters we call home.