Inspector Of Storms

Snow squall over the lake seems to be swallowing the late afternoon sun.

Snow squall over the lake seems to be swallowing the late afternoon sun.

“For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snow storms and rain storms, and did my duty faithfully….” –Henry David Thoreau

A cold, blustery afternoon in late November. Sunlight and snow flurries. Not bad. Lake fishing for trout is much better when there are ripples or even small chops on the water’s surface. When it’s calm the water is glassy and the fish can see the line and they think: “That doesn’t look natural. I don’t think I’ll eat it.” They do. They may have tiny brains, but they know what they’re doing.

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Snow showers around the Abajo Mountains.

But the fishing action was slow on this wintry afternoon. The limit for trout in Utah is four fish (you can catch more as long as you release them immediately), and it was taking me a long time to reach my limit. I probably wouldn’t have stuck it out for more than about an hour if it weren’t for the snow showers over the Abajos and the lake. The light was constantly changing as the clouds shifted around.

Late afternoon sun reflection and snow showers.

Late afternoon sun reflection and snow showers.

The snow squalls would wreathe the mountain peaks, then dissipate for a bit. The wind was coming across the dam behind me, making for a sheltered spot where I was fishing. The calm water at my feet made for a wonderful mirror for the dramatic display in the sky to the south. I would cast my lure over and over, and when another intriguing photo presented itself I set down my rod and reel and got the camera out of the camera bag. I would shoot the scene, then go right back to fishing.

Blue and white clouds, blue and white lake.

Blue and white clouds, blue and white lake.

Finally, after two and a half hours in the cold, I had my limit of trout. And the light display was winding down, too. There would be no gold and red sunset colors this evening; the clouds on the western horizon had cut off any chance of that. But the light show of whites to blues to dark blues had been quite mesmerizing.

Rainbow trout on a snow patch.

Rainbow trout on a snow patch, new snowflakes decorating it while I continued to fish.

Photo location: San Juan County, southeast Utah.

© 2016 Stephen J. Krieg

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