Winter is still with us, although we haven't suffered through any 20 degree below zero days or 120 inches of snow yet; the northern weather can still turn on us. The next several weeks usually bring those brutally cold calm days, or worse yet, a three day blizzard. There is a lot of snow to come, and for me the thrill of making a snowman or a snow Angel has dissipated.
So until the weather breaks here are some tips for those of you, like me, that can't spend March in the British Virgin Islands. Of course all your rods, reels, waders are ready to go. Those special flies, you have been tying these last few months, fill your vest. New tippet and leaders replace the old...and no mice wintered in your waders . Many items you'll need to bring your fly fishing program up to specs are now on sale. Check the Internet out. 50% off can be fun.
Good...now we have to stave off these next two months of winter before the Steelhead runs begin in lower Michigan. You and I are now down to survival of the human mind. How do you cope with the cold snowy season? Try wearing those boat shoes that have migrated to the back of your closet around the house with out socks. Try wearing that old Hawaiian shirt from thirty years ago. Oops, it's too small? No - polyester rayon doesn't shrink.
How about movies and books to put you to sleep at night. No...don't watch "A River Runs Through It" save that movie for the time you can run out the door to go fly fishing.
Wait for warm weather for that story. Also movies like "The Shining", or Jack London's "To Build a Fire", might not be a wise choice. Try movies like "Beach Blanket Bingo" with Annette Funicello or for the more demanding minds, "Lawrence Of Arabia". There isn't a ski coat, wool sock, or mitten in those movies.
Are we doing better? If not, I hear hypnosis can help, but that can be expensive. Very few people are totally sold on winter. The twenty extra pounds of clothes can be very restricting. Slipping on the ice and watching your coffee coming down on you minus the cup, then trying to get back on your feet, all the while feeling like a capsized turtle is a real loser.
Keep the faith, January is a whole year away and I guarantee the trout will be looking up again; soon!
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.