It seems like ages ago and just like yesterday. It was thirteen years ago My knees were still strong and my back was straight and my endurance was limitless. This day I began at first light. It was late May and the underbrush was just starting to thicken. I had so much energy and drive this day. The fishing was awesome.

I was fishing alone. I was way back in the middle of nowhere of a head water stream. There was not another human for miles. I felt the most alone I had ever been in my life. The quiet was deafening. You could not have ordered a better day from a catalog.

The catching was good this day also. The shadows were long and I had caught more than I could count. It was a fine day and it was time to call it a day. I took the most direct route to the truck. There in late day sun was a small feeder I had never seen before. I checked it temperature and it was 10 degrees cooler than the stream I fished all day. I smiled so big I almost broke my face.

This small trickle piqued my curiosity and off I went up the tiny frigid stream. The stream continued small and I got a little disheartened. I was just about to go towards the road and there was a small pocket that I thought might hold what I was seeking.

I watched the small crystal clear oasis in the underbrush for a long time. I typically would walk by such a small water with a treefall lining the left bank. It looked maybe 15 inches deep at best. I saw no movement in the hole. I stayed back while surveying it because I did not want to spook the hole.

I knew this would be a one and done cast because of the crystal clear water and the shallow depth there. I layed one cast at the very head of the hole. As my offering passed the tree on the left , the tiny pocket hole erupted.

The resident of the lay stood up on its tail and three quarters of its body came out of the water. It was what I was seeking but much larger. The colors were neon. I could see its light blue halos around the red vivid spots. The beautiful red and white fins sealed the deal.
I was flabbergasted that a huge male brook trout was laying in water shallower than its length. It ran around in circles and then leapt way out of the water. I was certain I was going to lose it when it tried to touch the sky. The battle ended quickly.

I walked up to the brookie and unhooked him. The inside of his mouth was jet black and he still had a pronounce kype from the fall before. He was the second biggest brook trout I had ever caught. He took off immediately and went right back up against the bank and downed tree.

I saw this photo tonight in my archives and it all came screaming back at me. The photo was like a time warp for me. I have never been back to this trickle since then. Three knee surgeries and a back fusion and of course thirteen years have passed. I don't think I need to return to this actual stream again. Perfection is hard to repeat.