Ahhhhh! Springtime in Colorado. Well, one of the many false starts to springtime that is. This morning I woke to 5+ inches of snow in my yard. But this isn't a freak snow, this is the norm. I have been fooled every year I have lived here into believing that spring was happening. You would think that after more than 20 years living here that I would be a little more used to to the springtime here. My wife has lived here her whole life and I think gets a little satisfaction (or is it irritation?) at this point of reminding me that "this is how spring is in Colorado".
Just last week we had t-shirt weather and I even got out for a few hours to cast a line and get the smell of a creek in my nostrils and the sound of water rushing in my ears. It was a good day. I brought along my new puppy and future river buddy, "Fezzik" to get him used to riding in the car. Maybe the problem is that I love spring so much that when it arrives I fall under it's spell. I get drunk with the green grass popping up and the blossoms that start to pop out on my peach tree. But this is Colorado. We have temps in the upper 70's and then a drop to 50's then up to 60's and down to 40's. The days get warm and I start doing yard work, planning out the garden and my thoughts wander off to flowing streams and mountain hikes and colorful fish. But springtime comes to Colorado like waves that bring warmth in and then suddenly take warmth out, over and over again until the tide is all the way in. Each wave of spring taunts me and plays with my hopes. I don't like this game.
I wouldn't trade living in Colorado for anything though. It is truly my "home". I have now lived here longer than any place I have ever lived in my lifetime. Roots are planted firmly. I will have a good late spring and a great run though summer fishing. While the population increases here I get frustrated with the crowds in the "usual places" I fish getting larger, but I also know that most won't go the extra distance to seek out the deeper high country. Tenkara is made for those mountain streams and therefore so am I. In just a short few weeks I can expect my biggest struggle to not be the weather and with figuring out not "Can I go fish?" but rather "where will I go fish?" I have already started a notebook of new places I want to explore and blocked off days on my calendar.
Flowing with the seasons is a practice in patience worth observing. Knowing I can rejoin the streams again soon is comforting to me. There is time at hand still to organize a few things, tie up a few more flies (just in case), patch my leaky waders and break in my new river shoes. The pandemic is waning here slightly too it seems. I have my vaccination and with that I feel better about my life and the future than I did last year. When we watch the seasons as our main calendar I think time goes by smoother and our troubles are less burdensome. Keep looking to the basics of life. Keep connecting with it in a natural world kind of way. The modern world offers little in the way of peace and comfort.
Thanks for your continued support. I hope our paths cross on a stream some day soon.
Little did I know that after saying this we would quickly become the (proud?) fosters of a mamma dog and her SEVEN Puppies. I was thinking at the time she mentioned it that it would be a mamma and like 4 pups. As first time fosters we learned a big lesson. It was work but had its share of rewards. The experience is one that we know we only want to do once. In the chaos that it was I was drawn to one puppy who stole my heart. I knew immediately that I would not be able to let him go anywhere. So now here I am 12 weeks later, still picking up poopy piles and learning all I can about training a dog. I expect he will learn the limits and rules for going fishing and that he and I will have some great trail adventures.
TenkaraPath Braided Level Lines
Dennis Vander Houwen lives in Colorado with his patient and supportive wife, talented artist son, a smart older dog, a new river puppy, and a very lucky cat.