Let’s not get too heavy handed with the Jack Handey banter in this edition, okay? It’s not like my insight on things is any more poignant than the next guy. My brain dump can sometimes lead to a communication conundrum on the information super highway. I usually pride myself in thoroughly planning out my expeditions, but in this case it was merely an afterthought. Honestly, I just opened my map, picked out a handful of juicy looking colored lines, and it was warp speed ahead. I chose a healthy dose of unfamiliar turf, with a few oldies mixed in for good measure. Probably not the smartest strategy in the dead of winter, but sometimes you just need to peek beneath the veil. I wasn’t too concerned with finding the next big thing. It’s probably no surprise to any regular Adrifter™ that I’m way too ADHD to stand in the same spot for any great length of time. From shallow skinny ribbons, to deep beaver dam pools I covered a little bit of everything. In many ways it just felt good to get the blood pumping.


adrift_fly_fishing_labor_graphic_design_minneapolis_andy_weaverling_driftless_trout_winter_04adrift_fly_fishing_labor_graphic_design_minneapolis_andy_weaverling_driftless_trout_winter_03adrift_fly_fishing_labor_graphic_design_minneapolis_andy_weaverling_driftless_trout_winter_06adrift_fly_fishing_labor_graphic_design_minneapolis_andy_weaverling_driftless_trout_winter_02There wasn’t much happening at most spots. It was your typical sluggish winter bite with very few active fish. At one point I saw two browns move towards the surface in a deep run for what I believed to be insect activity, but something didn’t seem quite right. I observed the fish for a few minutes, then noticed that one fish had put the other sideways in it’s mouth. Both trout were an identical 12 or 13 inches so this wasn’t exactly a case of beast mode. I was surprised to see that that trout A could even fit trout B in it’s mouth. After a minute or two, the aggressor gently released the victim and it seemed no worse for the wear as they continued to swim around each other. As best I could tell they were just getting funky. It’s as if they were up to their eyeballs in the electric Kool-Aid acid test, and not necessarily a case of dog eat dog. Speaking of which, I met a new fishing buddy at one spot who was about as friendly as you could ask for. The canine followed me around and quietly watched me fish as I plied my craft deep into the heart of the valley. If only my pooch could learn such manners, maybe he would get invited more often? We can only dream.




I was picking up a fish here and there, but there wasn’t much to hang your hat on. Lots of bites, but they were definitely in full short strike mode. In other news, I got shot down by the first “big girl” of the season. The only hard charger of the afternoon followed my offering from the head of a giant pool all the way to my feet. She slashed the bait hard at the surface, only to miss the hook altogether. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades (ick), but at least I was in the game. After a lukewarm winter’s day I tend to reassure myself that it just feels good to be out. I was born to walk the earth like Caine in Kung Fu.  For better or worse, this day was simply your garden-variety escape from Alcatraz type endeavor, nothing more, nothing less.