One of my favorite stops on the information superhighway is the “blog apology”. If you’re not personally indentured to a blog you may not realize the effort it takes to keep it fresh. Since I’m in the business of advising actual folks on things like their “web strategy” I find myself discussing such things with some regularity. Strangely enough I can be my own worst enemy when it come to practicing what I preach and my sites can languish with the best of them. As I surf through the blogosphere I’ll occasionally cross paths with others feeble attempt at the ever entertaining blog apology. It essentially amounts to some sort of half-assed apology to the readership for being unable to provide fresh content. In the context of winter fly fishing blogs the best defense against the blog apology is to flaunt one’s vise time. “Hey world here’s the shit I tie since I haven’t actually been fishing,” is the order of the day. Perhaps I should go that route with this post. I’ve been tying at a fevered clip in preparation for today’s Wisconsin early season trout opener. I decided my new flies will have to earn their way on to the blog by producing results. I hope to furnish the aforementioned flies tucked neatly into the corner of a trout’s mouth in the coming months.
Like most people, February has been a grind for me. All work and not enough play makes Jack a dull boy. February always has that “blessing and a curse” vibe going on. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel as the sun angle increases and the thaw begins, but we’re still trudging through the last stronghold of a Minnesota winter. To add insult to injury, the fishing was few and far between for me. I made a few exploits down to the Mississippi to check things out. It’s become a rite of passage for me, as my fishing clock tends to be well ahead of mother nature’s. I make a few casts here or there on the big river, but it’s as much about getting out and stretching the legs as it is about fishing. Nothing cures the February doldrums like a Wisconsin opener. While I haven’t fished an opener morning the last few years, you can bet your ass I’ll be out there soon enough. I’ve set my sights on some new water for the early season and I’m foaming at the mouth to give it a go.
I made a run to the North Shore last week to make a few turns. My buddy was in the driver’s seat for the haul which afforded me the prime seat to rubberneck the many trout streams and surf spots that dot the landscape. Is there anything better than getting a quick eyeful of trout stream as you go down the road? Sure it would be nice to wet a line, but these things were locked up like a fresh bag of Quickcrete. Damn I wish there was a viable winter fishery on the North Shore. It’s all uphill from here and I’m pretty stoked that this will be our last year of closed trout fishing in Minnesota. It looks like next year we’ll have an expanded fall and winter season with Whitewater and other state parks remaining open year around. Can I get an Amen?
While I traversed the Poplar River numerous times on my board and skis I couldn’t help but daydream about a steady round of Brook trouting. I’m not really sure where the issue of Lutsen over pumping excessive amounts of water from the stream for snowmaking landed? I do however know that the evidence littered the landscape. Snowmaking was in full swing, gracing the slopes with it’s rock hard icy goodness. Late February has left the North Shore light on the natural stuff. It reminded me that while Lutsen may be the finest the midwest has to offer, it still pales in comparison to it’s western counterparts.
Good luck to those of you who are out and about for opener this weekend. Fishing in March can be a hit or miss affair for me. The smart play would be to hit a few “old faithful” spots early in the season to insure that I’ll get into some decent fish. Too bad I liked Kenny Rogers Gambler just a little too much as a youngster. Against my better judgement I’ll probably swing for the fences on some new turf and let the chips fall where they may. I’ll furnish the play by play in the coming days.
The gas tank is filled, the oil has been changed and I’m back on the road. Better late than never.