Spring is a few weeks away. As one who loves to chase warm water species with the long rod, Iím anxious for the ponds, lakes, and reservoirs to open up. While kayaking and floating are part of my repertoire, floating the flats boat is even better.
For all my grousing about winter, truth is this winter has been milder than the last couple years, or so it seems to me. My measure is the Cache la Poudre River here in Fort Collins. Years past it has been iced to the point of being unfishable. Not so this year. Still Iíve not spent much time on it since the area ponds iced.
Why? The same reason I donít ice fish much these days. Cold. Once the air temperatures drop below freezing, these digits of mine tend to complain. Enough so, that after a few hours in sub-freezing temperatures they literally hurt for a few hours. Poor circulation due to age I suppose. Having frostbitten them hasnít helped. The other reason is, freezing air temperatures means icing guides when fly fishing. Something Iíd rather not deal with.
The last couple of weekends saw water temperatures in the mid-forties and above. That prompted me to gather up the fly vest and reload it with a handful of boxes that Iíve been busy filling. Yep, youíd think I was tying commercially once again. Not really, but I have tied fifty dozen or so flies since daylight saving time went bye-bye. Tossed the vest, rod bag, and wader bag into the car and headed for the river.
The first outing was less than stellar. Late start due to playing poker into the wee hours the night/morning prior. Then ran into other anglers fishing a couple of my favorite runs, low water . . . Oh, the heck with excuses, I failed to catch a thing, not sure I even got a strike.
Last weekend, was a tad better in that section I tried was angler free, except for me, of course. Not as tired, although I played poker late once again. And after I couple hours of failure nymphing tiny midges and nymphs (tried a few larger ones too). I decided to try what I most enjoy, pitching streamers, buggers in this case. That worked, a few trout to 16 inches, and a decent carp north of 24 inches.
Yep, winter is still with us, but open water on the rivers and air temperatures over forty will get me out. And if, a big if, the fates are smiling that day I may even see a fish or two come to net.