Blue Line Sanctuary

The more I seek out new brook trout streams, the more I am amazed at the beauty of these places. The best places are often not ones you find on state game and fish websites or that you hear people talk about. They certainly are not the ones where you see half a dozen cars parked and people chugging power bait. The best places are the thin blue lines on the topo maps, that have their origin high above in the mountains, and they cascade and tumble for miles through some of the last unspoiled landscapes we (public land owners) have.

I can not come to these places and immerse myself in them without feeling that I am being allowed to be part of something God set aside for himself. They are unspoiled, cool, crisp; they have little to no signs of man’s interference. They are home to some of the most beautiful and delicate creatures on earth.

Eastern Brook Trout taken on a Yellow Sally

I can not spend time in these mountains and on these streams without thinking about Creation. How do we catch brook trout at the headwaters of a stream at 4000 feet and catch them from waterfall to waterfall all the way to 2000 feet? They surely didn’t swim up the waterfalls. Our Trout Unlimited stocking programs are pretty good, but they are mostly restoring trout to their native habitats, not introducing them to new waters.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia)

My Son and I had the opportunity to spend an evening this week on such a stream. It was our first time there. We were supposed to be canoeing, but I could not pass up this little blue line without trying it. After three quarters of a mile, we were so glad we did.

The water was high, but falling, and clear. There were multiple hatches evident, most predominantly a small yellow stonefly.

Little Yellow Stonefly (Isoperla bilineata)

We could have spent a full day, or two, on this stream. The cascades and long pools were absolutely captivating.

In a few hours we caught a handful of fish and missed several more.

There was more to this deep valley than just the fish, the stream, and huge Birch trees.

Often, it is when I am in such places that I feel closest to my Creator. All of the distractions of the world evaporate and I am left with a sermon of rushing water, a choir of birds, a cathedral of timber and stars, and the purity of a brook trout. I can’t help, sometimes, to think that God sometimes walks these special places, and sometimes we are blessed to be able to walk with Him along the waters. Though we will not actually see Him, He is there, just look around.

4 thoughts on “Blue Line Sanctuary”

  1. Amen Walt. And since scripture often mentions rivers in Heaven, and Jesus and his Disciples were fisherman, I remain eternally optimistic that there is Fly Fishing on the other side….

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  2. Tried to leave this comment yesterday – who knows, maybe third time will be a charm –
    A spirituality seems to exist in these places indeed. We need them these places to connect to something – just my opinion. We also need to recognize when the moment arrives, to take action to protect these very places. I hope I am able to recognize those moments. …UB

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    1. I agree UB. I belong to several conservation groups for that very same reason. Unfortunately, the conservation movement has never taken hold in my state the way it has in others. There is a need here to do more that I feel tugging the more I am on those little blue lines.

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