Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Early Spring in Montana

By Jason Renfro

Northern California has received a much needed wet winter.  While I am grateful for the outlook of a summer and fall that accompanies this more adequate water supply, the blown-out local streams have further limited winter trout options for the wading angler.  I count myself lucky to have recently benefitted from a generous friend and an understanding wife.  I thusly found myself in Southwest Montana for 5 full days of indulging my addiction for fly fishing for trout.  This trip also afforded me the perfect opportunity to break in a recently acquired Burkheimer 489-4 DAL.

My time in Montana was filled with exceptional fishing, hatching baetis, rising fish and too many delicious cheeseburgers.  I also emerged with an even greater appreciation for my new Burkie.  As an angler and caster who prefers rods with feel and easy loading, I was pleased to find that 489-4 DAL capable of pin-point accuracy, great delicacy and at the same time, when called upon, line speed to defeat the wind and deliver larger flies.  I am fortunate to have an excessively large quiver of rods, numbering more than I care to admit, but this luxury doesn’t come without hazard.  Deciding which rod to bring to the stream can become a silly, but real dilemma.  The 489-4 DAL has now made that process much easier.

As my time in Big Sky country came to end, I left with the all too familiar longing to return.  While the quality of fishing plays into that longing, the connection with the natural world, and the rhythm of life it suggests predominate it.  My heart yearns for a life lived simply.  As a twinge of melancholy threatens my return home, I am reminded of an excerpt from a recent book I read:

“…These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire… yet they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”   - C.S. Lewis