Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm in

I'm fishless so far this year. It's a combination of two solid skunkings and the fact that two is the sum total of all trips to the river. I'm way behind on my time on the water but life and weather have conspired as they normally do. All is not lost on the war against the drone of work. I did manage to slide in a weekend trip away with Ann and the President's Day long weekend provided an opportunity to stoke the hearth and sit with my toes warming. But that said, I'm still fishless so far this year.

I think Jonny is feeling the same even though I know he found stocked trout last week. Fortunately he is brilliant enough to actually take some initiative and plant a seed.

Yes, he got the dates wrong, but I knew what he meant.
His email caught me on a particularly trying day and went into the file "Too crazy to even think about this now!", but that seed struck fertile soil.

Stress has an insidious way of denying you all pleasures including a sound night's sleep and so I found myself awake late on Monday or early on Tuesday depending on what side of midnight you found me. Pacing about sipping scotch I could not solve any of the myriad problems that denied me sleep, save one. With a simple email I could at least put to bed the wrangling over chasing Steel.

I am not a Steelheader. I know you just read that and thought "Poor chap, he's in denial".

No, really, I'm not a Steelheader.

Do I like the tug of large fish on the line, you bet. But I'm not constantly and obsessively thinking about nickel-bright slabs of rainbow trout shimmering as they cruise the flows upstream from Ontario.

Honestly, I'm not.

Maybe just a little.

But only interlaced with the thoughts of wild browns finning under the ice of a local stream. There's an obsession for ya.

I'm not a Steelheader but I do enjoy the trip. Pulaski, New York is about as strange a place as you can travel to without getting on a plane. It's always a cultural adventure and they do have Steelhead. And while I'm not there for the Steelhead per se, I do very much enjoy the Steelhead gear. How often to you get to tie swivels on leaders or buy split shot by the gross? As a trout fisherman, never.

So, I'm going to Pulaski. I'll drink some coffee (we'll bring our own). I'll sip scotch. Smoke a few cigars. Jon and I will share inside jokes (such as they are). We'll drift heavy nymphs in deep pools and wait for a tug, a tug that dispels stress, baptizes us against the evil swirl of the workaday world and gives a squirt of adrenaline like only hurtling Steel can do.

One last go before the end.

I'm in.


  1. Replies
    1. I watched the Steelhead Public Service Announcement again. It didn't help.

  2. My seed is potent, it is true.

    " about as strange a place as you can travel to without getting on a plane." Wonderfully true.

    I remain intrigued by your coffee solutions.

    1. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good. Especially by Pulaski standards (which are admittedly low).

  3. I lift and sup my Jameson in a toast... "to the hope that a fish will rise" Good luck- we call it steelheading, rarely steelhead fishing, simply becouse of the required steelheadedness that a fool needs to stand in the snow and rain to catch a fish that other cannot even understand chasing.. one more cast.. just one more cast.......

    1. "One more cast.. just one more cast..." That sums it up well.

  4. One more cast, one more scotch, one more day on the water...I think the combination of it all should be a good way to relieve some of that stress..ha

    1. That's what I'm hoping for. A tug on the line will be icing.