Spring Seriously Begins Next Weekend!

Spring in my opinion is the lamest of the seasons. This spring has not been so bad, but usually the time between the end of my ski season and when spring turns nice enough is intolerably long.

Spring in Wisconsin is a lot of up and downs. One day the temperatures will be in the 60s with sunshine the next it will top off in the low 40s. As long as there is sunshine it is not so bad, but one day finds me outside doing lots of outdoorsy things such as washing cars, biking, lawn & garden work, the next I am inside and reluctant to venture outside. Yesterday and today are perfect examples of this. Yesterday the weather was nice, with a mild wind from the South. I went for a bike ride.

Today, I had no desire for such activity. The temperatures outside maxed out at about 50° F and the wind appeared to be a Northerly wind. It does seem strange, I will venture out in the winter when the temperatures are far colder than they are now, with no problem. The difference is all in the mind. While there is a draw to get outside it is not as strong as it would be were I going outside to ski.

I do not mind biking, but biking I do more for physical fitness than for the pure fun of it. I am biking to burn calories and increase my physical conditioning, of course that is all with an eye to improving my skiing. So, unless the weather is cooperative, I will refrain from biking. Next weekend, though, marks the opening of an activity that will draw me outside in miserable weather. Next Saturday May 1 marks the opening of Wisconsin’s general fishing season opening day. Not all fishing is open, but most seasons are.

I like to fish. Usually the quarry is perch, but I tend to prefer muskie fishing. One form of fishing I need to get back into is trout fishing. Trout fishing is one where you have to get good and close to nature. There is nothing like watching the damselflies. Trout stream damselflies have fantastic coloration and beat their wings very slowly and gracefully. The damselflies around and about the lake are similarly colored, but like their cousins the dragon flies their wings beat very fast.

In the boat when perch or muskie fishing, we have lots of technological devices to distract. However, when trout fishing you really have to pay attention to what you are carrying, as you can not set it down — it all has to be carried with you. When trout fishing too, we are often in thick brush that forces nature upon you (the good and the bad). The problem though is the thick vegetation makes it hard to work a fly rod, so sometimes a small spinning rod is the best tool. My father, often takes this tack and likes to go in using a small spinner with garden hackle i.e. a worm. The one very good thing about being on the boat though is not having to worry about having to be quiet and sneaky. Quiet and sneaky is needed when trout fishing and being quiet and sneaky is not something I want to be when surprising a momma black bear and her cubs is a possibility. Maybe, packing a .45 should be a consideration?

I like to use the fly rod and a fly of some sort. I am no expert, I do not work to match the hatch. I go in and look for likely spots or other signs of fish and work to put the fly as close to that place as I can. With some practice, I am quite capable of landing a fly on the bullseye. Practice is definitely needed. I would be an absolute dork with a fly rod right now, it is not like riding a bike. I get my practice by heading to the lake and just casting poppers. Catch and release small bluegills and maybe take the fly rod on the boat and see if I can get bigger fish to take interest in my offerings. I once had a huge suck at my popper, but I reacted to the sound instead of the sight of the strike, missed the hookset. After casting for a few hours, I am ready for working the stream. Even if you are not aiming for a particular spot, you need to have good control lest you throw your fly into the dog-hair popple trees that thickly coat the banks of the streams we fish. Often times I just let the fly float and drift with the current, as casting is not possible. This is not what most people imagine, they get the image of dude out on a Western trout stream where the cold mountain water is surrounded by bare plain.

One last problem is the fees for trout fishing are larger, you have to buy a regular fishing license and then a stamp on top of that. Wisconsin no longer issues a physical stamp (though you can buy them for collection) but instead you pay the money and a computer system record is generated and kept. Another problem, is you almost need to have a lawyer to go fishing with you, you can cross a road and size, bag, and technique regulations could change.

Still, trout fishing is a heck of a way to get outdoors.

Good Stuff!

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