Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An End to Fish Pouting

I have to admit I've been a little mopey lately- fish pouting. It's true- when the drought goes this long, I get a little down.  I try not to be that way, I really can enjoy a day on the water; I don't mind taking pictures of my friends fish.  But every now and then, it's nice to be in the pictures.
 The problem has been compounded lately by a stressful work schedule and tight deadline that I'm afraid will entirely crowd out my spring steelhead fishing.  You look forward to something all year, and then a silly thing like work, and the need to pay bills gets in the way.  I keep saying, though, that the nice thing about living in Trout Country is proximity- being minutes from first class streams.
At some point this morning I decided that the moment I got out of work I was pointing my truck north and going fishing.  The plan was to go to an obscure stretch of Lake Michigan beach and toss streamers for pre-spawn steelhead and maybe some browns.  With sunset being well after 8 pm I'd have time even with a long work day.  I forgot about the list of things waiting for me at home, left it all behind, changed clothes, wadered up and drove to the Straits of Mackinac.  The Straits area is incredibly beautiful, and steeped in history- the French had missions and a fort there over 300 years ago, and the area was considered militarily strategic, as it was the gateway to the northern fur trade.  It's an incredible backdrop for an outing.

I went to my obscure stretch of beach and found- ice.  Not only that, but I couldn't cast to save my life.  It never helps to have a strong wind at your back, but I just couldn't get my rhythm down, couldn't feel the rod load.  Too much pent up frustration.  So I canned that idea, grabbed my other rod and chucked egg patterns in the creek that flows out there.  I'm not choosy yet, I just want to fish.  I caught a couple of small rainbows, and then, as the sun was going down, I drifted a dark seam of water and on the second pass my line came firmly to a stop, and when I tried to dislodge it from the "rock" it came up shaking.  It was a small fish- 4 pounds, but it went a couple of rounds before coming to hand.
the only ice left in the Straits


I needed that- I needed a night that wasn't caught up in work, business and bills.  I needed a secluded place, the sounds of geese and gulls, to see bald eagles in courtship flight, the sunlight filtered out through high clouds in a place that always seems a world apart even so close to home.  It was good to land a fish between sand dunes on a pleasant early spring day.  It was good to land a fish.
chrome on ice

So, I'm done fish pouting.  What has been a long drought has broken, and with spring just coming to Trout Country, I'm looking forward to a great year.



the smile is back

9 comments:

  1. welcome back to happiness.

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  2. The perfect cure for cabin fever. Nice post.

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  3. perfect fish- gorgeous color, nice fins, way to break the ice> thanks for sharing. I need to get out and get over my issues as well.

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  4. Very cool man, Congrats on bringing that fish in.

    Ben

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  5. I find that fishing, hiking, or just generally being outdoors helps me to reset my "mental clock." If life were just about paying the bills and meeting deadlines it really wouldn't be very much fun. We all need that time to decompress. Glad to hear that you got a chance to get out there and land a nice fish.

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  6. I've been fish pouting a lot too. It seems that when you take your frustrations to the water, they just compound. I'm glad you got out and let them all go, and were rewarded with a heck of a fish.

    Bring on the grins!

    -stephanie

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  7. No fish pouting there! Excellent day for sure!

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  8. The only thing that's saving me from trout pouting is the planning of some awesome trips...got a couple of weeks to go and I'm fishing for a week. Glad to hear you've turned that frown upside down...

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