Sunday, February 24, 2013

Time to Panic

I'm sweating, just a little. My fellow Michiganders who don't fish don't get it. They think it is still hard-core, hard-assed mid-winter. They are wrong- dead wrong. Spring is here, has sprung, and needs to be mopped up a bit. This is it. Next weekend is March. Winter's back is broken, and all the snow, all the wind, and all the cold are just the last gasps, the last spasms, the last dying breaths of this Great Dragon Winter. Snow all you want Smaug, but when the sun pops out your heart bleeds white blood back into the earth.

If you fish a lot, if you're a steelheader, if the snow and ice doesn't scare you then you know what I mean. The urge to spawn is building in the steelhead. Every 34 degree day, every bit of sunshine, every up-tick in stream flow only makes that urge more maddening. Some fish have been in the rivers all winter, but fresh ones are pushing up almost every day now.

In March it gets serious. The days are longer, the storms are fierce, and the great mythological battle between the cold northern dragon and the hot southern one heats up. In like a lion, out like a pussy cat with a hairball. Once April rolls around it is full on steelhead time, with tons of bright fish moving up the rivers. If you don't spend every spare hour on the river you are crazy.

After that it's over. February will have seemed to be a luxury; March a first love, April more ardent, more urgent. Then it is May, with it's fly hatches,spring peepers, mosquitoes and that first touch of humidity after an early spring storm, by which I mean thunder storm. Then it's June, at which point summer is over. Hex me this and Hex me that.

July is an afterthought, August a mirage, and life only gets serious again, just a little, in September. Call this an ode to frivolity, but let the frolicking begin.

If I've lost you on this then you don't fish enough. I have no time now. Neither do you, but you don't know it.

Let it begin.


  1. You have most definitely not lost me on this post! I hear every word you say.

  2. First- the Tolkien reference was a nice touch. Second- I share your sentiment with regards to the fever that is spring. Third- great blog.