Bulkley Trip- Arrival
Up at 7 and out the door, with only a stop for coffee. 7 hours of beautiful views follow.
At one point, with the sun only low in the sky, I see a wolf, skipping through a farm field.
I see eagles hovering and once, a badger crossing the road.
I pass McLeese Lake and pause to look back down the lake. I always wonder how I could arrange to be here at dawn but its too far "in between" places I might stay overnight.
More coffee and there's only three more hours till I get to Smithers.
At 3, at 140 kms/hour, I pull in to town. A quick stop at the motel, where I literally throw my stuff in the room and suddenly, I am on the Bulkley again after a long year of hard soul killing work.
The water is high but no higher than it was last year.
Gone is the melancholy of yesterday and I have to force myself to slow down - to breathe - I am shaking with excitement. I fish a run I have only fished once before and that time I found fish.
Sure enough, this time I bump a fish in exactly the same spot. Its just a quick bump and then nothing. I switch flies and swing down through the run. Its loooong, a kilometre, I will only get to cover a third of it before dark. Then it happens, a fish rolls over my fly. The fish.
I realise I am standing way too far out in the water. I step much closer to the bank, back up and change flies.
The sun starts down the sky towards the Seven Sisters and a huge October moon rises opposite. An angler and his yellow lab fish the run across from me. The fading sunlight catches his line arcing out across the water. He fishes too fast through the run and does not touch the fish that is always there.
He and the dog leave. I am alone again.
My third fly swings down through the run. I force myself to count 30 at the end of every swing.
At the end of one 30 seconds, a swirl and then the line comes tight.
I change flies, step, swing, step, swing. A tap, tap, tap, then nothing.
Ten minutes later, it's too dark to see the head marker on the line.
I spool up and walk back to the car.
The river slips by, bathed in moonlight.