First light and most of the frost is off the windshield, the mist thick on the river, the sun hitting the peaks, light still low on the valley floor. I have driven this section of road a thousand times or more and it’s different every time. I don’t look at the road much anymore and have had more than a few close calls. The problem is the road runs along the river. I can’t help myself. When I’m along the water my eyes are always drawn to it—its colors and textures. Along with Iron Mike Thomas and Glen “Bear Cub” Melus I hang lights in Aspen during the late season when the guiding slows to make some extra cash. We talk about fishing spots: hidden seams, bends, riffles, and pockets. We talk about the fish we’ve never seen but must be lurking somewhere. In the end, I don’t think it’s the actual fish that keep me headed back to the river but the possibility of fish. Mostly it’s the places that fish live and all the remote places I’ll never really know. The lies under stones or beneath root balls deep in the undercuts; spots you can never place a fly. The fish I’ll never catch keep me fishing.

Live from the World Headquarters
Kea C. Hause esq.


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