We’ve been waiting for it. Knowing it was coming got us through the darkest days of winter.
Like a little seed in our minds, the expectation of it grew. Despite the shortening of the days, despite ice and pandemic, it could not be cancelled. Spring.
Here in the wild north of Kootenai Country, to me, spring means many things.
Spring is returning to the light and birdsong. It is bears awaking, flowers on the wind and wild mushrooms hiding in the duff. It is dipping a line in water that hasn’t warmed enough to completely forget ice, and thinking it just fine.
This is when bald eagles swoop upon swimming goslings and sometimes come up red. When we look for antler sheds tangled among roots in river runoff: like that one perfect four-point whitetail shed I hooked and landed with a prince nymph, years ago up near Libby.
Or the fire-engine-red monstrosity of a rainbow I hooked but did not land a different spring- also on a prince nymph.
Early season on our river is halos of hatching caddis blurring the edges around hundred-foot fir trees. It is the time for inky stoneflies on the wing and quicksilver trout that have forgotten the hook.
They are incandescent with rage, Kootenai fish in spring.
And, it is here. Welcome to April, friends!
I can usually repress the impulse to wax poetic, but I can’t help myself today. It’s been a long winter with far too few fish, and it’s over now. The first wild trout on dry flies are on the books! Come find us on the Kootenai. If you succeed in getting our trout-addled attention, we are open for business. Hope it is a great season for all.
Rita Rose & Johnny P