I don't know about you folks but sometimes I find myself craving inactivity. I suppose I'm not supposed to say that, you know being an active over-achiever and all that other stuff, but sometimes...
It doesn't happen all that often, but it is always in the winter when it does. Perhaps I should start logging it to see when and how often it happens - but I'm pretty sure it mostly happens after the river water turns cold. After about 11 months of intense fishing. You see I spend 99% of my fishing time wade fishing in the Brazos - which happens to have been placed in my yard, for convenience. I don't normally call it the Brazos, generally I refer to it as "My River" when it comes up in conversation. Anyone that knows me knows which river is mine.
Back to the subject of hibernation. This time of year, this kind of weather we are having, makes me want to say inside with a warm fire, a good book (could be any number of subjects, I am a w-i-d-e reader...currently reading about flint knapping and charcuterie), and either a glass of red wine or a tumbler of brown whisky. Note I spell whisky without an "e". That's because the good people that invented it spelled it without an "e" and I think their tradition should be followed.
I do get outside now and then, dressed warmly, going for long walks down the local dirt roads armed with a beaver chewed stick that I carry as a symbol to let the kind folks of my area know that I'm out walking on purpose; and they need not stop to offer assistance. Go walking without that obvious walking stick and every one of them, bless their hearts, stops to check on me and I can not walk far for all the conversations.
I tried fishing with waders in that cold river water - and cold is relative (to my friends in actually cold weather states I know frozen water is colder, a bit) but it is cold to me. And perhaps more pertinently, it is cold to these warm water fish. The bite now is way down and slow and the fish don't fight all that well when they are in water like this. I can fish comfortably enough in waders and long johns and a few layers on top, but...that doesn't make the fish bite any better, and there is this hibernation thing. It is not depression, it is not seasonal affective disorder, it is not laziness (I lift weights and go for long walks so it can't be laziness can it?) it is a pause.
I have high enthusiasms, I get on tears (rhymes with wears) about things like...well like flint knapping and charcuterie...and if I'm not careful those enthusiasms can burn very brightly at both ends, then suddenly stop. I get passionate about some new thing or other on a routine basis. I am a perennial student, love to learn new things more than just about anything else. And I am deeply enthusiastic and passionate about fishing, have been all my life.
But I do sometimes just not want to go fishing. This never seems to happen when the fishing is good, when the water is warm(ish) and the fish are actively feeding. It seems to happen like right now, when the weather is in the 50's, overcast, light mist or foggy, windy, the water is cold, the fish are slow to bite, and it is just a damp, cold, iron gray kind of day. Or week. Or so far about three weeks.
I think partly it is the weather and partly it is a re-generation of that enthusiasm to fish. I'm going to be laying off the fishing for at least a couple more weeks, I'm pretty sure of that, but I can feel that gnawing feeling deep down in me that is saying - go fishing. It's kind of like getting hungry, it starts very slowly and faintly and builds and builds until it all you can think about is a bacon sandwich on toast.
Am I alone in this or is there anyone else out there that goes through this hibernating pause? Or am I just crazy like my friends and family seem to think...