At this time of year, we fisher-people all dream of spring: warm evening air and the vibrant greenness of the forest enveloping us as we gaze towards a riffle, watching spinners dance over the water. Or, a big trout lined up in the most beautiful seam you have ever set eyes on, slowly sipping sulpher duns; as the peeper frogs sing to you from the river banks.
This all sounds so wonderful, but it is only December. True, the Winter Solstice has passed, so technically we are on the up-wards swing towards spring; but, it is still December. To make things worse, as I write this, the outside temperature is 64 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it feel like spring, hell it even smells like spring.
It is not spring though. No matter how hard we squint or eyes, the trees won’t be green, the frogs won’t be peeping, and the spinners will not be clouding up over the riffles. Instead, there may be a few midges floating about the breeze, clustering up over snow covered rocks; the trails will be icy and unfamiliar, and your butt will get cold while bank sitting. Your ears, hands, toes, nose and rod guides will freeze up, and you most likely will not catch a fish. But what else is there to do? I have already tied enough flies and drank enough beer for myself and my friends. I need to fish, I need to get outside, out of my damn house. Any one who prefers winter, cannot be much of a trout fisherman. I just can not bring myself to believe that any trout fisherman could relish in a frozen river with frozen trout.
But alas, it is almost January. Though it will be no warmer than December, we will be a little closer to spring. The stoneflies should start about February and it will only get better from there. So keep tying flies and drinking beer, or if you have had enough of both, try freezing your rod guides off in the river.