Photo provided by a friend who admits to having the fever really, really bad.

Photo provided by a friend who admits to having the fever really, really bad.

VALENTINE’S DAY, 2014. I’m standing forlornly in the Colorado Springs Airport. I’m supposed to be on my way to Denver and then from Denver to Seattle. Instead, I’m in the rebooking line. That’s never much fun and it’s even less so when I find out I can’t get to Seattle until tomorrow. That means I won’t be able to speak or tie flies at the Fly Fishing Show in Lynnwood, WA. I was pretty excited about teaching my “Practical Nymphing” course, too. But that’s also down the tubes. It’s the first time ever I've missed a Fly Fishing Show due to weather delays. I guess it had to happen.

So that’s that, but it’s not even the worst of it. My pal, Jim, had convinced me at the last minute to pack a minimalist fly fishing kit because the recent heavy rains in northern California had busted the sand bars out of the river mouths and the steelhead were on the move. With luck I’d have one day to fish between the Lynnwood Fly Fishing show and the Pleasanton, CA Fly Fishing Show. At first I’d told him it’s just too much to pack all that stuff for just the possibility of a day’s fishing.

Jim says, “Dude, you have to get your priorities right. It’s steelhead. They’re in the river.” Two days later he calls me with a fishing report. “It’s unbelievable. They’re in the river for sure. It’s on right now and they’re going to close the season soon due to low water. He whips me into a steelhead fishing frenzy. I have the fever.

Oh, Mama can this really be the end. To be stuck in Colorado Springs with the steelhead blues again.