Sometimes the events of a fishing trip need time to settle or be digested. I need time to take in all that was witnessed. During the trip, I am so focused that my short term memory goes into hibernation and my long term memory is used as backup where the details will be visited later. The short days of winter seem to speed up time and before I know it, the setting sun is there to remind me that I must go home.
Today was one of those days winter days where you work to find fish. It is the period of the year in which I hope for more fish, but I am happy to catch a few. I have the child like anticipation of the spring hatches that still seem so far away coupled with the excitement of curing the cabin fever that makes me mope around my house. It is a different time of the year to fish; a time where even the landscape seems lonely.
The day started with two tactics: I would “chuck and duck” a large streamer on sinking line and Mike would go low and slow with a nymph. The water was beautiful with quite a bit of current. I quickly remembered why I do not enjoy casting sinking line in tight quarters. It was not pretty, nor was it all that productive. I was able to raise one good fish, but I was not able to get a good hook set and my dreams of raising a leviathan from the depths had quickly died.
After a change of fly rods, Mike and I searched for slower waters and some familiar fish. We discussed the hatches of the spring. We hoped to find a few fish sipping on the many midges that were out and about. We spoke of hendricksons, sulphers and march browns. We whined about the cold water that had found the holes in our waders. We planned a few road trips to fishy destinations. It was a productive ride.
We were soon at destination and searching for fish. I had shed the cumbersome sinking line for my much lighter and delicate three weight while Mike continued to cast his small rod. We filmed and worked the familiar spots searching for a willing trout. It took too long to find them, but we managed enough to satisfy ourselves until the next trip. It was a good day that ended much too early. It was a day that included a mink, a giant owl, a groundhog, a few small browns, and the fellowship fine friend. It was a day of cold fingers and wet feet. It was a day to be thankful for the trout waters of this flatland.