I’ve been an avid fly-fisherman for most of my life, and was of the “catch-and-release” persuasion long before the US Border Patrol co-opted the phrase, although my targets are native and not immigrant. Hmm, come to think of it, both rainbow and brown trout are “introduced” species in my region, so there are parallels, but in my case I usually eat a couple each year. (I don’t suppose we should let ICE agents watch the Paul Bartel/Mary Woronov black-comedy film Eating Raoul.) I like to tell people I’m the only “beer-drinkin’, pick-up-drivin’, ball-cap-wearin’, blues-music-listenin’, poetry-readin’, Monty-Python-lovin’, fly-fishin’, alpine-skiin’, kayak-paddlin’, tarot-card-readin’, horoscope-castin’, half-Canadian geomancer” they’re ever likely to meet. To be honest, though, these days I’m more of an ass-sittin’, bourbon-sippin’, cat-nappin’ old curmudgeon than an avid outdoorsman. Even so, being on a trout stream at dawn still stirs my blood.
Anyway, on to the reading. I apologize for the cutesy title, but it isn’t much of a stretch to conflate an “outlook on trout” into “troutlook” (even if spellcheck nags me about it). Around this time every year, as air (and more importantly, water) temperatures rise into the 50s, the State Fish and Game Department stocks hatchery trout in our local streams and rivers. Although they aren’t great sport, they at least give me a reason to go out beyond simply practicing my casting technique. Every new season is a crap-shoot, since too little rainfall dries up (and consequently heats up) the streams quickly and too much makes them impossible to wade effectively, putting a major kink in the action. Unless I travel considerable distances, the trout season can have a very narrow window of opportunity that usually ends here by the last week of June.
I decided to use my “Knights’ Crossing” spread and the Heloise Lenormand to assess the upcoming Spring and early Summer fishing prospects. I chose the Fish as the obvious Significator.
All images copyright Lynne Boyle
The Fish turned up near the beginning of the third row, so I filled out that row to show future developments and drew three more cards to complete the nine-card square surrounding it. The first notable thing about it is that the Clouds comes right after the Fish, with the bright side facing it. This suggests that there could be a considerable amount of rainy weather, and also that the fishing could be best earlier in the season. Tower + Fish shows that the quality of the fishing is largely dependent on State involvement.
Clouds + Book + Scythe makes me think that the stocking program (Book) is in doubt (Clouds) and could be curtailed (Scythe) this year since State funding is very tight, while Coffin + Sun implies an earlier-than-usual end to the season due to a hot, dry spell. House + Stars has a “stay at home and wait until next year” feel to it.
Except for the Clouds (which may not be all that bad if it keeps stream levels up), the cards surrounding the Fish are more encouraging. One thing my brother and I do most years is make a trip to northern New Hampshire to fish the Upper Connecticut River watershed, which has a fly-fishing-only “trophy trout” section. The four corners of the square show that we’re keeping our ears to the ground (Birds) about the stability of river flow (Anchor; too high and variable is not good), and that we will travel (Rider) to do what we love (Heart). Rider and Heart both knighting to Storks shows that making this pilgrimage is a sure thing, and it could be the best chance for good fishing all season.
The series Storks-Fish-Moon makes it look like a reliable move, while Moon knighting to Birds and Anchor should mean that all of the variables fall into place for us. However, the intrusion of Clouds into the equation shows that we could hit a rainy spell during our intended timeframe that puts a damper on the trip (which, of course won’t stop us). I also note, though, that the Sun mirrors the Clouds, so a mixture of clouds and sun is a more likely scenario.
The Tower knighting to the Anchor and the Rider (and also touching Storks, Fish and Moon) suggests that the State (Tower) will remain constant (Anchor) in promoting (Moon) what is a major tourist destination (Rider knights Storks), luring fishermen (Fish + Rider) to the northernmost tier of communities.
“Counting round” yields a line of five cards with Fish-Heart-Rider-Storks-Tower, supporting the idea that we have a “date with destiny” (or at least the hatchery truck) by traveling North. On a side note, Stars at the end of the row also means “North” as the last word on the season.