By MIKE CORN
The setting was perfect, so Rod Sutter donned waders and grabbed a pole to try his luck at the freshly filled Webster Reservoir.
Not long into it, however, a familiar tune range out -- that of his cellular phone, tucked safely into his chest-high waders.
Even on the water, Sutter couldn't escape modern technology and the rigors of the job.
But as soon as he finished the call, it was back to the business at hand.
Sutter, Plainville, was busy fishing for white bass or wipers near the swimming beach on Webster's north side.
Webster is all but a brand-new lake, and Sutter was intent on enjoying a few hours of solace -- as much as can be expected with cellular at hand -- and perhaps a nibble or two.
Water levels at the lake had remained low for years, only to start rising again last year. Over the winter months, as water continued flowing into the lake, the reservoir reached its designed operating level -- conservation pool.
In March, Webster officially hit the full mark, but has since continued to store water behind its dam. As of Thursday, Webster had 1.6 feet of water in its flood pool, water that is expected to stay there until the lake's irrigation district calls for releases later this summer.
The idea there is to minimize the effect the irrigation releases will have on the lake, extending the amount of time that Webster remains full.
Also benefitting from heavy rains last year was Kirwin Reservoir.
Water levels in Kirwin Reservoir passed the full level Thursday, and the lake is now about a half-foot into the flood stage. Water flowing into the lake jumped sharply higher Thursday after a storm system passed through.
On Thursday, water was flowing into the lake at the rate of 130 million gallons a day.
Sutter has been thrilled to watch as Webster filled up.
While he loves to fish, Sutter said he usually has a friend along.
"You very seldom catch me doing this by myself," he said, just yards away from the bank, casting his line out into deeper water. "But sometimes you've got to take some time for yourself."
Even then, he's not out on the water near enough.
"I love to fish," he said. "If I fished as much as I wanted, you'd catch me any day out here."
That's not to be, however, and his excursion a week ago was the first time he's had the chance to venture out.
His interest most likely was fueled by reports from a friend who caught a big wiper.
"The lake's beautiful," he said, casting his line out again. "It's amazing how much it's up. It's going to be good for several years."
With that, he looked about at the expanse of water surrounding him.
"We're a good 300 yards from where the water was," he said of conditions last year.
And the call?
It was about his day job selling chemicals for the oil industry.
"The oil field boom has been so busy for the last three years, I didn't have time to come out," he said. "It's kind of nice it slowed down."