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Desperate?

April 5, 2014

My apologies for being a tardy blogger as the material from this post comes from a visit to the Kinnickinnic River on Monday, March 17, 2014.  Monday? Shouldn’t I have been at work toiling away?   Shame on me that I had a few vacation days remaining from 2013 that I carried over int0 2104. It would’ve been a bigger shame had I let them go to complete and utter waste so I decided to take a half-day on Monday and go fishing.

First problem – the weather.  Several inches of snow fell during the early morning and turned the roads into a slippery mess.  The temp was in the lower 30’s.  Not terrible but not great either.  A bit breezy to boot. Second problem – existential crisis. The roads are bad and it’s cold.  Is the drive worth it?  Just think of all that gas I’ll be wasting.  What am I doing fishing?  Am I nuts?  After all, the rest of the world is working.  What is wrong with me?  I should just go home.  It is crazy to fish in the snow.  Follow your bliss my inner voice tells me and I head east on 494.  Traffic is slow due to the road conditions. Somewhere east of Woodbury I’m growing frustrated with the slow pace of traffic.  If I could just get around the guy in front of me.  Preparing to pass I look in my driver’s side mirror and see a 4X4 pickup approaching in the fast lane spin out of control and head for the ditch.   Thank goodness the ditch fence keeps him out of oncoming traffic.  Slow is good I tell myself and stay behind the car ahead of me.  Slow but steady wins the race.  Okay, well maybe not the race but at least I’ll be able to keep working and support the wife and kids.

Third problem. I know the fish are bigger below the dam but I’m more comfortable/familiar with the water above River Falls.  Unfortunately, the parking lots above town are inaccessible…the snow is too deep or they are blocked by piles of snow from the plows.  Great.  I drove all this way and I can’t even access the stream.  The only spot where I can park is just upstream of town, off of Quarry Road and some dude is eating his lunch in the parking lot.  That’s not going to work.  I’m still in my suit and tie and need to change into my fishing gear.   Fortunately there’s a gas station around the bend where I park and jump into the back of the van and go from financier to fisherman in a flash.  I return to aforementioned spot and find the lot empty. Traffic hums from the not so far away bridge… not the peaceful seclusion one envisions.  It will have to do I tell myself as I enter the water.

The wind is crisp and there is a crisp dampness to the air that soon cools the tips of my fingers.  Poetry…don’t rush things.  Slow down.  Are there any risers? No.  Water conditions?  Deeper than on the Rush, which is good.  Clear.  I should be able to catch something.  I munch on my apple and leave the core for a critter.

To the Core –

Winters snowy mix.

A fisherman to the core

Keeps the doc away.

 

In the air, I catch the scent of cookies, chocolate chip cookies, baking in the distance.  Not the usual aroma one associates with fishing but it keeps my warm.  Drifting a Pink Squirrel and a midge below an indicator it takes me awhile to find some active fish.

photophotophotophoto

The dozen or so browns that I do tangle with over the next couple of hours are aggressive and put up a good tussle. The ones that I miss were just a bit too elusive today.

Back at the parking lot I’m greeted by a fellow fly fisherman who, with his beard, layers of clothes and critter hat, reminds me of Grizzly Adams.  We start with the weather..too cold, snowy, yada, yada.  Like me he caught a few and he mentions that being a steelhead fisherman that this is where he comes when he’s desperate.  I don’t think much about it until he leaves and I start the van.

Existential crisis here we come again.  Am I a desperate fisherman?  Is that what I’ve become? No, I tell myself.  I’m just a fisherman to the core.

– Hats

 

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