Sunday, January 31, 2016

Jones'n to Fish

Jones’n to Fish

  It’s been about 3 weeks and I hadn’t wet a line. The creeks have been iced up and the temps have been below freezing. I’ve been biding my time tying flies, minding the chickens, eating too much and drinking more than I usually do. I’ve been having dreams of trout fishing and wake up disappointed. This weekend the weather changed for the good, almost 60 degrees, so I got my gear together and headed out to do some trout fishing.

 Let’s face it; no one likes a good fishing story unless fish are caught, well, unless it has some humor in it.

 I got out late in the afternoon and found only one other guy fly fishing. Fly fishing from the bank, that is. Ice was protruding from the banks and I guess no one wanted to break it up so it would be easier to fish. I put my chest waders on, put together my ‘Purist’ fiberglass Wonderod and headed to the creek. I broke up the ice along the bank and pushed it out into the current. It wasn’t easy but I wanted to fish. After breaking the ice up I lit a Padilla Fuma and relaxed on the bank until the water calmed down.

 I caught a glimpse of a few early stoneflies flying about so I decided to tie on a stonefly nymph and give it a try. I may have fished for about an hour changing offerings without a strike. I had to move out of the below 50 degree water now and then when my feet felt like they were stuck inside a block of ice. Occasionally a chunk of ice would float down and hit my line. The hook would catch on it like a hung toe nail in a shag carpet. A little tugging jerk and I would get it free before it went too far down creek. Now and than a floating chunk of ice would bump up against my thigh like a bored puppy nudging my leg wanting to play ball.
 The weather was cooperating though. The sun rays kept the temperature warm to near 60 degrees. Though there were quite a few people enjoying the day in the park it was quiet. I only had to tell the two boys once to stop throwing ice chunks in the water because it would scare the fish. Other than that my jones’n was slowly easing away.
Down creek I decided to tie on a Woolly Bugger. I figured the trout weren’t going to be all that active to chase a bugger so I fished it slowly on the swing or dead drifting it deep.

 The cast was a little up creek just shy of the far side ice. My cast was purposely weak with enough slack so the bugger would drop deep before swinging slowly with the current. I felt the line tighten like I snagged a rock beneath. With a little yank of my wrist, to my right, the glass rod arced towards the water and I felt a struggling fish on the other end. I quickly pulled with a little more force to make sure the hook fully penetrated. It was like in slow motion in my dreams. I hand lined the fly line, bringing the trout towards me, as it struggled to get loose without too much aggression. My first brown trout of the day was in my net just shy of 5:00pm. It brought a smile on my face.

 After drying off my cold wet hand I lit another Fuma as a reward.

 I didn’t reel any line in so I knew if there was another trout in the same area I would have the same amount of line out. A few casts later, with the same presentation, I felt the line tighten again. This time I yanked with hook setting force and again the glass rod arced down creek. This trout was a bit heavier with a little more fight and the glass rod flexed with each jolt. 

 I got him coaxed into the net safely. Not bad I thought!! After over a few hours of nymph fishing, without anything to show for it, I just pulled out two browns within 10 minutes.

Well good things must come to an end. After another half hour of no strikes I decided to call it quits. The air was turning colder as the sun was setting and the clouds were shading it more often. My legs felt stiff, like a stickman, and my feet felt frozen. I waded out of the creek like an old man with tender bunions.
 At the van I took off my chest waders and wading boots as the van warmed up.

 Out on the interstate, heading for home, I puffed on the remains of the stogie listening to old time rock & roll. The sun, to my left, was setting just above the tree tops. Its glow radiated between the layers of clouds calmly moving across the blue sky. My feet slowly thawed as the blower pumped out warm heat. A hot cup of coffee would have done a world of good right then. I’ll have to remember the thermos next time.


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