“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”
The wry, completely accurate observation comes from the man on the sticks behind me and I have to admit, after missing a half-dozen hooksets, that I do appear to be stubbornly equine.
But, in my defense, I’m distracted. Distracted by the mist-shrouded Three Sisters and surrounding Canadian Rocky peaks that rise majestically to the north of our drift down the Elk. Distracted by the lush riverbanks of lodgepole and fir and quaking aspen. Distracted by the lake-filtered emerald green glacial melt as it races along wide stretches of perfectly smooth freestone rapids. Distracted by…
Crap. Missed another.
“Let me know when you’re ready to take the oars.”
The Elk River, near Fernie, British Columbia (photo: Mike Sepelak).
We roll out of our comfy beds at Fernie's Park Place Lodge at a civilized hour (code words for overslept), but there’s no panic. No scooping of gear and dashes for the door. Unlike most trout fishing, at this time of year in British Columbia it’s not about catching the morning or evening hatch, but rather about just getting on the water. With a solid fourteen hours of good terrestrial opportunities, there’s no need to hurry, no need to sacrifice that few extra winks.