Welcome to Warmwater Fishing!

Warm Water Angler in a Cold Water Fishery

By Robin Rhyne
My earliest memories of fishing involve mosquitoes, heat, sweltering on the bank or in the boat. I recall standing on the bank waiting and waiting and waiting for the big old boat to come into view, the one with the low RPM motor churning out "jug-o-rum, jug-o-rum," until I was informed that it was a bullfrog and not a boat motor. There are memories of sitting in lawn chairs on the reservoir shore at night with Coleman lanterns burning bright while moths fluttered to their doom. There were the bluegills busting up on crickets and worms and, later, store-bought poppers (Still have them embedded in my boonie hat). Going fishing was always a study in how to stay comfortable in the heat without getting ate up by bugs or sunburned. Fishing has been so very much associated with the hot heat of summer. Please forgive me as I digress for a moment and delve more into summer.

Summer, as you all know, involves learning how to walk where it's not so hot. All children in Texas go barefoot all summer long, or used to when I was a boy. The asphalt was just enough hotter that the concrete was a preferable path. Then there were the stickers. There were areas that were sticker patches, to be avoided at all costs. When we lived in Midland for a while the alley was off limits in the summer due to the rattlesnake population. My mother had this silly idea that six-year-old boys ought not to be messing around with rattlers. "But all the other kids..."

Back to fishing. I learned to fly fish and discovered the joys it contained. But, I felt, until I caught trout I was not really a fly angler. After all, that was what all the fly anglers in the magazines caught, right? Years later I found out that there are trout up in Oklahoma. The Blue River was only one hundred miles north of my house in N. Texas. Long story short, there I was standing on the low water crossing of the Blue River in southern Oklahoma on a December morning, trying to catch a trout. I was trying to cast but the ice kept building up on my line every time I stripped it in. The guides were full of ice. My hands hurt, despite the fleece gloves. The wind bit my face and the rushing water sapped the heat from my feet. We waited on the sun to rise and warm us up.

Then, in a moment of clarity, I saw myself standing, casting to bluegills and bass on a lily pad-covered inlet. "Man" I thunk, "I am a warm water type of feller!"

I guess I may never try ice fishing. ~ Robin Rhyne

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