Have run into John at Lot 2 Round Valley Reservoir for a couple of years now. He told me about the 24-inch, 5 1/2-pound rainbow he caught this January. "It leapt four times, clear out of the water." His fishing buddy had passed away recently and he uses his rod as a memento, the tag from the Round Valley Trout Association he plans to attach to this rod he caught the trout on. The Association was good enough to return the tag to him. He always fishes trout with three rods and his buddy's made the big difference for him this season. The fish looks great in the photo print he showed me. I first met John late in November 2011. He had caught a four-pound largemouth just minutes before I arrived, showed me on the cell phone. Last February almost to the day, he showed me the first lake trout I had seen caught from shore.
Two other groups of anglers arrived and one fly fisherman. The weather conditions were very auspicious: heavy wind blowing into the cove, clouds, and falling barometer. It seemed to get everyone interested, but no one caught anything. John had two hits in four hours.
I always feel spring stir in late February and I wasn't the only one who felt it today, even though temperatures are in the low 40's. You can sense the change if you are immersed enough in nature on a regular basis. It's an almost imperceptible difference at first, like tide that has just shifted from slack to barely coming in. But you feel the hint of spring large in the environment just as a tiny motion in the water implies the whole.