Sunday, September 23, 2012

BC 2012; The Journey Begins

Hard to believe that a year has passed  since I boarded Hawk Air to return home after several weeks in British Columbia chasing migratory fish that at times seem infinitely elusive. The previous years epic high water event resulted in a last minute phone call from Derek, Owner/Operator of Frontier  Farwest and one of fly-fishing's more impressive steelhead operations, while we were seated in the airport preparing to depart.  He called to inform us that the river had again exceeded its capacity.  Ironically the previous year it had gone out the day we arrived. We were on a roll!  To the character  of our group no one batted an eye and we stayed the course.  As one of our crew eluded to, "I have time off to go fishing and I'm going fishing". 

We are not sure of what this year will have in store for us, yet we arrive in Smithers this year under clear skies and walk from the plane into a smoke filled valley that hasn't seen rain since June;  a stark contrast from the previous damp years.  It's dusk when we fly into this picturesque valley, so a visual perspective of the river is assuming at best.  After two years of swinging flies in silt laden waters it will be nice to see the bottom of the river for a change.  With weather these days one never knows.  I don't even bother looking at forecasts any more.  I just pack my stuff and go.    

After a short night Angelo, Lars and I wander over to the Bulkley Valley Farmers Market for coffee from the Bugwood Bean.  I discovered this Saturday gem of a gathering several years ago.  In doing so  I'm quickly reminded that there are other reasons that we go to such unique and scenic lands to cast our flies and not all of them have to do with catching fish.  This particular morning I've been looking forward to a coffee from the market brewery and to briefly immerse  myself in the small town culture of Smithers before it time to switch our focus to fishing. It's been a year since Angelo and I ended the previous years trip with that incredible last day.  It doesn't seem like it.  Time seems to pass these days at a frenetic pace.  Of all the trips I've been so fortunate to take this annual migration is like going home.  It's at a good juncture in the year and swinging  flies seems to slowdown life down to a more reasonable pace, regardless of the success.