The cold of the 35 degree water penetrates my waders and every layer I have. Fingers struggle to function as water from the fly line drips off them and falls to the water below. I recast and exhale, the fog from my breath hangs in a thick cloud, hardly moving or dissipating. I zip my coat up and nestle my chin deep into the fleece liner. Pulling my hood up over my head I try and savor every ounce of heat that my body produces. The sun has not yet risen but the light from the East tells me it is on it's way. Casting, swinging, stepping, I move in a rhythm that is efficient and measured. As the fly hits the water, my non rod hand always searches for the warmer pocket on the front of my coat or waders. There it sits in a Napoleon fashion until I must withdraw it and strip in line to do it again.
The sun hovers just below the horizon, teasing me with it's leisurely ascent. Splintered shards of light pierce the rivers fog and refract onto the higher hills above me,bathing them in a purple and pink light. Those upper reaches are lucky to be first to feel it's warmth. Within minutes, the purple and pink hues on the upper hills give way to brilliant yellow, orange and red. The river level light is also undergoing a change. The drabness of the pre-dawn is now becoming clearer as things overlooked and unseen snap into focus. The clarity of the water is what I notice first, staring 3 feet down and clearly seeing spent casings attached to a rock from stone flies. A fresh water lobster prowls the bottom looking for breakfast and quickly darts into the deep when I shuffle my feet for a step down stream. A water ouzel flickers by and lands, waiting for the sun like me. I continue to fish, the warmth of the sun is now moments away and I somehow feel warmer knowing it is so close. The tree tops across the river light up like a downtown marquee. With each step down the run I make,the sun drips down the fir and cedar trees inching ever closer to my position. The first golden rays reach me, playing tag as they try to penetrate the canopy behind me, only sometimes getting a clear shot to hit me. This goes on for some time and the anticipation of it's full presence is peaking.And then it's here. The radiant beams finally break free of the earthly obstacles and soar above unencumbered, and wrap me in their arms warming me to my core. Looking straight into the sun and feeling it's full warmth and goodness is amazing. The cold of moments ago is but a memory as the sunlight soaks into me.
I fish with a new found passion, energized by this miracle of the dawning of a new day. It never fails to impress no matter how many I see. It's all a miracle really,the turning of the earth, our path around the sun, our place in the solar system, the fine tuning of the universe that allows for life on this blue ball in space.I live confident with the knowledge that there is a God who is Creator of all things and he made the sun that warms me, this liquid environment that I now stand in and the fish that I love so much, and it is GOOD!
For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So peopleare without excuse.(Rom 1:20)