Waiting For a Thaw
by Don Cianca, Butte Mt.
At last, I was able to turn another page on the calendar. Unfortunately,
the new page was just the month of February. Living above the 45th
parallel and in the heart of the Northern Rocky Mountains, someone
who is addicted to flyfishing finds the winters can go on and on. Certainly,
a trip to the south during these months will afford opportunities for a
lyfisherman to enjoy his or her passion. Trips to the Florida Keys, the
Yucatan or the Bahamas are indeed great, but can make a sizeable
dent on the bankbook.
In healthier times when skiing was part of my normal winter activity, it
surprised me how quickly the winter went by. I would look forward to my
next outing with my friends and almost without warning, the ski slopes
were announcing their "Closing weekend." It was only then I would start
the search for my fishing equipment and prepare for the new season.
With the excellent modes of communication we enjoy today, a fisherman
can keep up to the minute on weather conditions. My computer is
bookmarked to sites that provide local weather, area radar, and
streamflows. Old standbys such as radio, TV and newspapers still
allow some planning to take place with the weather forecasts they
provide. February, like January, usually leaves little hope that above
freezing temperatures will come along to allow me a few hours of
fishing. Never the less, a thaw does come along every once in a
while. Keeping an eye on the forecast can get my heart racing if
I see a temperature that is to be above freezing the next day. My
boots are brought into a place in the house so they can warm up
enough for me to put on. I look for the gloves that I try to wear but
never do because whether I wear them or not, my hands still freeze.
I make an effort to clean off my flyline and stuff my vest with the flies
that I will need on the stream I intend to fish. And from past experience,
I tie on a new tippet while in my warm home, rather than attempt to do
so with fingers that start going numb just leaving my truck.
If the temperatures remain below freezing and there is no more
football to watch on TV, and the never ending figure skating gluts
the networks, out come the flyfishing catalogs and brochures on
exotic fishing destinations. I can also get the urge to tie some flies,
I never have enough or the right ones. However, no matter what I
will be doing, my focus will be waiting for a thaw.
~ Don Cianca (Uncle Don)
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