Sunday, December 7, 2008

Slush and Getting Soft

The temperature didn't get above freezing overnight and into the day on Saturday, and that generally means one thing: slush. But the forecast said Sunday would be even colder. So I had to at least check things out Saturday or risk having a fishing free weekend -- not an encouraging prospect.

The frozen retention pond in front of the health clinic near our home didn't offer much promise for a good outing. And the upper Rocky was frozen as I headed north. The car thermometer said 26 degrees and the wind was howling pretty good. But there was flowing water in Berea and my hopes raised slightly. What I didn't notice as I drove, but quickly realized when I got out of my car to scope out the first spot was slush. Lots of slush. Spin fisherman, with their monfilament line, large bobbers and weights and fight their way through slush. Fly fishermen with their thicker fly lines and more delicate offerings struggle terribly with slush. The fly ends up taking a ride on the slush, rather than sinking to the bottom. As I drove downstream I saw a few fly fishermen, but they were struggling to stay warm and get a good drift. There were a few more spin fishermen, but they too were struggling to stay warm and I saw no signs that fish were being caught.

I parked and hiked across a bridge over the river to get a better look at the river. The flow was good, but the slush slowly circling the eddy against the far bank made the river look like a giant slushy. Maybe 10 years ago I would have given it a shot. But fighing iced up guides and reels while ducking out of the wind just didn't seem like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And the forecast indicated that the temperatures wouldn't even approach freezing, which means the slush would only get worse. I told myself: "I'll still fish in slush, but only if the slush is burned off by a rising sun." No warmup, no fishing for me.

I guess this means I'm getting soft.

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