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There is Hope!


Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

We had above normal temperatures for most of the week. The snow was almost all gone, except for the places where it had been piled by the snow-plows. It was so warm that I did not need to wear a coat when I went outside at noon. I resisted until Friday and then I had to go out to the lake.

I had to know if there was open water. The mind is ready for open water. When the mind is ready for it the body goes with it. One of the problems is that my wife recognizes this and supports me in any way she can. This usually means a few questions about the availability of open water and if all of the equipment is ready. I patiently, at least in my mind, answer all of them. She takes great glee in telling me not to be nasty. To be honest she gets the same sort of support in a few things that she does. It keeps the relationship fun.

I headed out to the lake, but there was road work going on in the area that I normally go to. They are extending a culvert so the road does not wash out as often with big rains and spring floods. The road was blocked so I headed for another place to get out to the lake.

I ended up where another boat launch area is. This area has a couple of jetties and sets about half way back in an arm of the lake. As I was driving down the road, along the arm, I saw there was a sliver of open water. It was right by the edge of the shore on the north side of the lake. I stopped to really check it out.

I can report that it was about six inches wide and the water, at the edge of the ice was about two inches deep. I wondered if this was happening any where else along the shore. Could this have been caused by the water running in from the snow melt? Or, is this really that the ice on the lake is melting? The mind had to know!

I pulled into the area where the bait shop/concession stand is. This is a convenient place to park and hike down to one of the jetties. I walked along the edge of the jetty all the way around. I even walked over and checked the other jetty. There was no open water.

The mind was depressed, the body sagged. I struggled and slogged to get back to the truck. No fishing this weekend. Even though there had been warm air temperatures to stimulate the mind and body, the ice was still on the ponds. The open water had come from the snow melt running into the lake and not from the power of the sun melting the ice.

I am thinking about taking a rod out Tuesday, when I get back up to the other office, and casting in that little strip of water. Hopefully it will be wider, the water will be warmer, and a fish might have come in there to feed.

It is raining, thankfully today, so I will go home and start my tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and leeks today. We are supposed to have rain all weekend.

Maybe it will make that band of open water along the edge wider. I will have to check.

If you have had any feeling like this; repeat after me, several times. I DO NOT HAVE THE SHACK NASTIES!

I hope you have better luck with this, as neither my wife nor my assistant believes this. I am sure it is just their bad attitudes and their not being fisherman that makes it impossible for them to make this judgment. The fly fishers here know that this is true. Please send messages of support to help me convince these women.

Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick

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