Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
February 19th, 2001

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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