Saturday, November 22, 2008

So Now What?

Up here in the Great White North, at this time of year, fly fisherman (and woman) are storing their rods, cleaning their reels and lines and accepting the fact that fly fishing is over for another season. The lakes are icing over and the days are getting shorter. Some are breaking out their ice fishing tackle and may even be getting excited about the hard water. Personally I can't get excited about staring at a hole in the ice while freezing my nuts off. Ice fishing just doesn't appeal to me. Oh, I've tried. I even built my own ice shanty a few years back. I was pretty proud of it, making it from scratch out of plywood, hinges, latches and a tarp. It even looks pretty cool and I made it to fit in the back of my van (the fish mobile). But it isn't fly fishing. So now what? Well of course there is fly tying. It starts out by cleaning your bench, putting everything in it's place, maybe even labeling some things so you can find things easier. Then you get down to tying. All the patterns you use the most are done first. Make sure you tie enough to get you through your next season. After that it's the patterns you thought about tying last summer. Maybe a pattern you seen somewhere or one that someone introduced you to. After that you start searching on the net for something new, something you either think would be fun to tie or maybe something you could see working on your local waters. Winter is a great time to fill up your fly boxes and experimenting with new patterns and new techniques or tricks you learned can be fun. But it isn't fly fishing. Some guys get involved with clubs. It's another great way to learn new things maybe even a secret or two and you get to bond with folks that have similar interests. But it isn't fly fishing. So now what? This summer I bought a new digital video camera. I plan on making videos throughout the winter. Maybe some fly tying, maybe some set-ups I use for chironomids or Pike. That should keep me somewhat busy over the winter. But it isn't fly-fishing. So now what? I'm not willing to accept that the season is over. There's still the 3+ hour drive to the Bow River downstream of Calgary. You can fish there all winter as long as it's warm enough (pray for some chinooks) that the ice chunks melt off. The North Raven can be fished as well if you can find some open water on a warmer winter day. And of course there's Wabamun for monster pike. The water at the power plant discharge stays open all year and I beleive this is the last year for open water as the plant is shutting down it's last generator next year. All options for a fly fishing fix, that is if the temps are warm enough to keep your guides from freezing. Now I just gotta find some buddies who are willing to brave the cold. So now what?

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