Thursday, November 17, 2016

Round Valley Reservoir Trout Abundance: An Answer I Never Came for

Feeling it awesome I caught this rainbow four years ago on December 5th. In the post of mine from which I stole the photo below featuring Albert Camus, if not some of the words of this philosopher-hero of the working man, certainly significant allusion signifies my association with him as meaningful to where I've come from that time, and where we've come, because whatever Donald Trump is--I once joked that he's an occasion like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the movie Ghostbusters--working men seem to have largely comprised the equation of his election. Somehow or other--it strikes me as mysterious--I found Camus's Notebooks: 1942-1951 at JFK Airport, 2012. I don't remember if enroute to the Florida Keys or Europe. Other books for sale didn't carry the intellectual importance. I read the book that fall and winter fishing Round Valley Reservoir from shore while I worked in a job I had come to love, just as Camus wrote of the way beyond despair, my taking conscientious stock of his words some six or seven years before I came to appreciate this job so deeply--thanks to Albert.

I'm feeling deeply disappointed for not making it to these same shores this fall--just down further where water used to be, as the reservoir is at record low level. I came once with Oliver for fly fishing about a month ago on an extremely windy morning, the reservoir lonesome besides the two of us. Going on two weeks, I've felt the guilt for not being there as I used to come two or three times a week, though three or four visits since late September might have satisfied this year. You can ask Mike Maxwell the Trout Assassin; he's heard my gripes masked by enthusiasm. He told me Horhey here in our neighborhood swung in with two big rainbows in his trunk recently. Fish of about 22 inches fairly typical this year. Nevertheless, the numbers and size of trout, though I don't deny the excitement and that this is what I feel disappointed about along with my not seeing friends I made there, the numbers and size could never replace the exquisite experiences of appreciation I've experienced for many more lonesome years at the reservoir and write about in a section of nearly a hundred pages in my coming memoir.

Just back from Round Valley Trout Association's meeting, I got some more details on the news a lot of people seem aware of this year. Mike Roman said, "We've never had numbers of 21, 22-inch rainbows like this before." Zach Merchant, the most famous shore angler of the host, said, "It's dropped off a little bit. Guys are still catching fish, but it's not as good as two, three weeks ago."

Behr's Bait and Tackle is closed twice weekly all winter. Word from Behr's quarter speaks of low customer turnout. News I offer in this post comes late, but that's just as well by me, since I don't care to seem responsible for high turnout for the trout. It's just that I do like to see individual men and women who get outside and develop personal appreciations which effectively embrace this world, thus hallowing this worldly presence infinitely more complex than any mind can grasp, and yet vulnerable because we are vulnerable. Let me further plug in this very important point. The natural world is quite indifferent to us. When it seems benevolent, when it answers us, it does so as an echo of our own affirmation. Not necessarily a weakened echo, but a return instead of perhaps more potency than we offered. And it does work both ways. Positive or negative. Energy is subtle, and ultimately where it matters most is human consciousness, not just the gas tank. We matter. If we destroy ourselves, that's all we do, besides taking whatever species to demise and death with us. The natural world as such will simply go on in whatever affected form we leave it. And where we go in spirit--who's to say? No one. Believe what you will. We do know energy is almost infinitely subtle. We do know that we don't know all the possibilities. And I do not want to leave this world in a bad way.

RVTA plans on stocking another 200 undersize brown trout this year. Last year's batch may easily be legal size now, but if you catch a brown trout you can legally keep, I only ask that you please put it back. The state hasn't stocked any of 15, 16 inches you might catch, and the intent of the club is observe these browns growing to trophy size.