For those of us that have a 9-5 and actually work for a living the several months leading up to spring go by painstakingly slow. My winter weekends have been filled with wrestling tournaments and 7th grade research papers. I have been tortured by stories of my fly fishing brothers who have spent their winter swinging for steel in far off waters of British Columbia and Idaho. It seems like forever since I have felt the touch of cork in my hands. I did manage to do some water fowling this last fall and winter and even managed to put some venison in the freezer and help my son Bridger bag his first buck. However it is moving water and the metronome cadence of the cast that gets my blood pumping and I have been seriously plagued with low blood pressure as of late.
So my self-prescribed therapy for this long winter has been to read fly fishing blogs, and fishing reports on waters around the country and the globe, and goal setting for the upcoming season. This season, I will see that new water, and leave the bobber at home. “Stay on top Chad It’s dry or die!” “what a fantasy that is.” During the evenings I would sit at my tying bench and crank out the myriad of flies I will need for the upcoming guide season, cleaned lines, and repaired waders, organized fly boxes, tweeked my raft, repaired the boat trailer and made wish lists of things needed for this upcoming season. Emails and text messages with my fishing pals have centered on upcoming trips, especially the annual fish camp that is coming in April on the “MO” and the need to spend more days on the Beaverhead and Bighole rivers. Daydreaming of the hatches to come and the rising trout that will take the flies I have created.
But oh so soon the annual spring skwala hatch will begin on My home water the Bitterroot river and of course as of this writing I have three more weekends of wrestling tournaments, a huge research project that my seventh graders must turn in and I have to correct which just happens to coincide with the early fly-fishing season. Oh ya I also have an 8th grade field trip to Washington D.C. I wonder if you can catch anything with a fly on the Potomac River in March. Ugggg it’s so hard to stay focused on correcting papers and the young wrestlers that I coach when things are about to start happening on the river The weather is so damn nice and the temperature is creeping up every day fueling my passion for the selfish mistress that is the river.
So to the bench I go with a glass of Jim Bean and an idea for what has to be the next greatest mayfly pattern. I will tie a couple dozen more of these flies and hopefully connect the dots real soon. I need the chilly waters and eager take of a reckless trout. I want to feel the sun on my back and the familiar ache in my shoulders of pulling oars. I look forward to shuttles, and the morning weather reports and water levels on my favorite rivers. The evenings at the brewery with a pint of my favorite IPA swapping stories with the boys about how good or bad the day was and how our client’s did. Yes I can feel my blood pressure rising and it is a good thing. On your mark, Get set, Go!