Winter break came just in time to salvage what little sanity I still have left. With a break in the cold weather we saw our opportunity to get out an do some fishing so we took it. Dad and I tried to make plans that included my brothers but they couldn't get away from the pre-christmas honey-do's, so we went without them. Gotta get out while you can.
1:30 in the AM felt more than a little early, but in order to get enough fishing in to make the trip worth it you've got to get the driving done in the dark. Making the trip 'worth it's is highly subjective, but getting at least as much fishing in as driving you have to do to get there is the minimum for me. A 1:1 ratio isn't the ideal, but I make up for it most of the year fishing close to home. This drive is a long one that includes lots of caffeine, conversation and working out all of life's problems. A bull elk, several deer, a coyote and even a fox came in into our headlight's glow on the way, luckily none are in our lane.
We arrived just after light and started fishing as quick as we could get our warm clothes on and rigged up our rods. Small hits we're pretty regular right away, but hook ups didn't come as quick. Once I managed to get a couple in, it was clear that the hole was chuck full small rainbows. Dad couldn't seem to hook up, but I managed a real nice fish in between the little guys.
Onto the next spot, where it was more of the same for me. Lots of little fish without much difference between them. Dad was getting some strikes but just couldn't get a hook set and was getting a little frustrated. Not sure how this works sometimes, but once he got one fish more followed without too much difficulty. Fishing can be weird like that sometimes.
We tried a bunch of different spots, each one seemed to have the same size and number of fish. We decided to try a small pond that has held some nice fish in the past, but tended to be pretty difficult to fish. Shallow, super clear water is tough enough but this pond has the added fun of thorned bushes around the shore that like to grab your fly line and make the long casts needed to get to where the fish are almost impossible. While working into position and trying to find a good place to cast from we were reminded of another reason this pond is less than ideal when dad stepped into a hole and fell down. Thankfully the loud crack I heard as he went down was only his net. Dad wasn't too happy about his net, and the fish were less than sympathetic ignoring our efforts.
We finished out the day starting on our long drive in the light. Spotting deer and another coyote was a pretty cool way to finish out a good day of fishing with my dad.
Hope you're as lucky,