In the damp canyon we huddled about bent at our haunches with the mist clinging to nothing and hanging about us. Fire twinkled under eyes drunk with anticipation and tongues pushed chaw across the horseshoe of lower lips, we'd been here before. The river ran behind us and I could hit it with a good stone if I tried, it was the color of slate and after the crest hours prior it left the remnants of branches and riff strewn in exile lapping at the tips with the swirl of the eddies and the pulse that all rivers show near their edges. The moon was bright but indifferent between the vapors filling the lower canyon. No one spoke in the fire trance, no one looked at the bottle as it were passed about like a communion to us, this place, this moment. We share everything in these moments, and the things we keep to ourselves ride out sooner than we'd like.
The morning would be there, and the sun would burn through the blanket of mist. The boats would launch and we'd be casting and battling wits with something that has a brain 1000 times less than us but knows this river 2000 times more. The rolling tongues and riffles would give spin to eddies and backwaters, the seams pealing off the boulders in the current would spin sand dunes under the surface to mask the down stream side of it's creator. The steelhead would take the hook in it's maw and run for a place most of us have never felt, a line of confusion and self preservation between us in the form of nylon and plastic and capping one side is fear and survival and the other is foolish pride.
We'll share a moment and part ways.
The boat will reach the take out and we'll part ways again, and the things we keep to ourselves will come out once more, and no one will hear them.