It all starts with the first cast. The first cast is what you've been thinking about since you got on the trail, since you got in the truck, since you planned the trip the evening before, since you reeled in the last cast on the last trip. The first cast is the point where it all begins. The first cast could tell you that this will be the day that you will always talk about. The first cast is everything. Nevertheless, you must act as though the first cast means nothing at all. The first cast of the night should be performed with nonchalance, because one must never get their hopes up. For if fishing is distilled to anything, it's distilled to hope, and the fact that you want as little of it as possible so that your expectations can always be exceeded. But it’s hard not to feel an urgent sense of hope. Especially on a calm, golden summer's night when you’re hiking to a tiny piece of water in the Rockies that sees few anglers.
On this night, my friend and I were unable to contain our excitement. We practically ran the three kilometres to the lake. When we arrived, the fish were jumping and the sun was trying to come out. We set up near a submerged log and a pool of black water. My friend had his rod at the ready in less than a minute after dropping his backpack. Sure enough, the first cast produced. "Look at this, man!” he laughed, as he reeled in a small brook trout. I considered that this could be one of those nights. My first cast was equally successful. An eight-inch trout snapped at and snagged on my size 12 royal wolfe. As we settled into the evening, our night quickly became more ordinary. We each reeled in five beautiful, if small, brook trout. On this occasion, the first cast wasn’t a harbinger of the fishiest night of our summer, but it was an excellent way to exceed our expectations. Because you never want to put too much hope into the first cast. Until next trip, that is.