I was looking at my calendar at work on Friday and it dawned on me that we are just a hop skip and a jump away from the spring thaw. In years past I recall salivating at my calendar for warm weather to roll around. Considering I had spent 4 months without a rod in my hands and countless hours at the vise…. no great surprise.
These days, fishing has become a 12 month endeavor for me. The species change each month as does the venue, but if two weeks go by that I have not wet a line that is an oddity.
So Bob, Tim, and I had planned on some fishing yesterday. Unfortunately Tim had some family obligations so Bob and I ventured forward into the cold. And cold it was. When I picked Bob up mid-morning it was a balmy 9 degrees. By the time we hit the water it had skyrocketed to 12 degrees… a veritable heat wave!
Cold weather fishing presents a whole new set of challenges which can make life pretty interesting… frozen fingers, frozen rod guides, frozen leader…. I lost 5 of the first 6 fish I hooked yesterday… still not sure if my fly was frozen solid or if I just couldn’t get a good hook set but I had a few choice words for the winter air. The bite was on though and we giggled like two kids who just found their dad’s collection of Playboy’s.
This brings me to my mixed emotions. As I look forward to the spring thaw, I also dread the crowds of anglers that come with it. Bob and I had the entire river to ourselves yesterday and it was beautiful. We laughed and joked about bad casts and lost fish. We moved from spot to spot without pressure from other anglers. I do not look forward to seeing fisherman elbow to elbow along the banks. When opening day of trout arrives you will see me elsewhere probably fishing a stretch of river or lake for a species that most people don’t chase on the fly. It’s not that I don’t like you… hell, I don’t even know you! But I don’t enjoy fishing while I am surrounded by the collective “you”. I am sure you don’t enjoy fishing being surrounded by the collective “me”!
So my winter wonderland is still in force for another month and I will enjoy every frozen step. But today is a football day…. on the couch, hanging with the dog and the wife…. HERE WE GO STEELERS… HERE WE GO!!!!!!!