Once upon a time in a not so distant land a young man who donned his leather apron at the cocks crowing took it off during the church bells noon tolling. Sitting in the sunshine with a lunch pail wiping his sweaty brow one of his mental wires over worked and frayed, finally snapped. Walking back into the little shop of horrors he settled accounts with his employer. He drew his eight and half days pay, hung the apron up for good and never looked back.
On his way out of town he paid a visit to the local mercantile where he bartered a long bit axe, purchased four long spring traps and small box of shells for his carbine. Walking out of town following two deep wagon wheeled ruts dodging the occasional horse pies he moved farther inland than he was accustomed too. When the ruts crossed a stream he took the left bank and followed it north into the forest for the better part of three days.
The water taking the path of least resistance dropping in elevation was crooked and bent at every turn. A young man with one lone cow walked straight away from its roughest stream bank corner. Axe blows created firewood and a small log cabin. Days became weeks that passed with lots of hard work. One post after another created a fence line that meandered about his property where it dipped down to cross a stream flow that had lead him to this little parcel of land. Water flowed, seasons came and went.
The wood fence rails were replaced by barbed wire and it kept his cattle in with less effort. During a spring of high ice out, part of that fence was torn loose and washed downstream to eventually rest in a deeply gouged corner. Flowing Water year after year rolled and coiled that stray wire into one gnarly grasping mess at the bottom of a pool of water now locally named for the long ago dead farmer.
That rusty strand, pink streaked trout and silvery sided salmon spawned under with the least little bit of effort. So many years ago a man walked the watered edge into the woods to make his way. So it was that I snowshoe’d up that frozen river this past weekend and the ice had heaved a massive crack over the mid section of the pool. Barely a trickle of water flowed and small vapors rose up from the fissure. How many springs and falls had I stood here chest wader deep with fly rod in hand?
I peered into the frozen slit and there exposed was the wire I foul hooked so many times. It was covered with disheveled flies, hooks and yarns of three glowing colors. Some of the fishing line still held small spilt shot. More than just me left fishing souvenirs here over the years. I removed my glove, reached my arm into that crack, felt frigid water and worked that spire of junk wire around until it finally snapped off.
The trout whisperer