Thursday, March 29, 2007

Finally. . .

I arrived at the river a bit later than I would of liked, but the parking lot was surprisingly sparse of other vehicles. The drive to my local river seemed like an eternity as months of anticipation were soon to be realized.

After suiting up in record time and making my way to the nearest river access point, it became clear why there weren't more fellow fisherman around. The river was still raging. I was not at all surprised, as I had been watching the hydrometer, the weather, and studying it with each overpass all week.

The river's current state did not matter to me. The only thing that mattered was that I was finally fishing. The silly grin that is reserved only for those special fishing moments returned, and a part of my being that has been absent for the past 80 days was awakened from its slumber. Today, my finned friends were tucked safely out of reach, and took comfort in the opaqueness of rich Irish Cream. As the sun reached its apex I thought it was time to leave her for another day, and it was then that one of my friends came to greet me and welcome me back.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hard Water Affliction and Ode to Spring

The winter months have been particularly harsh on me this year. I have been away from my finned friends for precisely 76 days - that's 76 lifetimes for a mayfly spinner! Winter came late but was unrelenting during its tenure. . .and my paying job has taken me hostage.

Each fisherman has their own way of helping the days go by as the ice keeps him from the places that have given him solace, serenity, exhilaration and escape in the previous months. Some fishermen will relentlessly clean their arsenal to the point of compulsively obsessive. Some will virtually fish through the world wide web partaking in online discussion. Some may write a blog (which I obviously haven't been doing). Some will hunch over a vice in an attempt to create a bug from feather and fur. And some will rise in the pre-dawn hours in the dead of winter to journey through the snowy desert, merely to sit over an 8 inch hole in the hopes of feeling that once familiar tug on the end of their line. I'm almost certain that a clinician would deem these activities as signs and symptoms of psychosis. Yes, we sure are a crazy bunch.

On a dreary winter day, as I sat over my vice like a mad scientist revelling over one of my monstrosities, I received a message from Dave W in which he colourfully illustrated his success while ice fishing. In my current state of mind I was intrigued. The thought of battling a Goliath Lake Trout on a 1.5 foot rod overcame me.

Within a couple days, I was hovering over a hole in the ice that sat over 75 feet of mysterious emerald abyss, in hopes that a fish or two would take interest in our offerings. I sat in excited anticipation at the imminent moment I would once again feel the tug of a fish. After 8 hours of watching the occasional fish on the graph stop by for an inspection only to turn their nose away, no such luck would befall me on this day. My lack of skill as an ice fisherman was clearly evident, if not appalling. I can't say that the ice fishing discipline has ever been good to me, with only a few mediocre fish ever caught in this manner. Boy am I glad that I'm not relying on these skills for sustenance. After tangling my line with his on a couple occasions and accompanying him on his first skunking of the season, Dave mentioned that he would never take me ice fishing again.

As I am writing this, we're on our 4th day of spring. The ice has finally receded and drawn back its curtain on the our beloved rivers, and they run with extra fervor and might. For the first time this year, I took a walk along my local stream this morning, and as I watched it roar its way to Lake Ontario, I was reassured that I would soon be reunited with my finned friends.