SPRING: so close, yet SO far…

by Ryan M

20130202_ct_mill“45 degrees and sunny.”  That’s what multiple weather information sources promised me for today, this 2nd day of March, the year of our Lord, 2013.  It is for that bold-faced lie that a weatherman (or weather woman, I’m gonna be an equal opportunity hater here) will soon be tarred and feathered.  I was really excited to feel anything other than mind-numbing cold today while fishing the Mill River, but alas, there were neither sun nor 45 degree temperatures to be had today.  It also snowed like a bastard the whole way home.

My fishing buddy Luis and I have gone out in pursuit of the Slick Fins at least 3 weekends a month since Fall, and have endured all manner the hardships that come along with the territory of winter fly fishing.  I’ve learned a lot about how to keep warm while standing in a 38 degree river when the air temperature is 23, (a fire and a hot mug of camp coffee help) about how to layer under your waders (do yourself a favor and look up Beagle Wear wool coveralls), and I’ve learned the value of bringing a complete change of dry clothes in the car for that inevitable moment when you fall ass-over-tincups into the aforementioned 38 degree water while reeling in a very pretty brown trout.


(Camp coffee is ESSENTIAL when you’re fishing in temperatures in the 20’s)

But most of all, what I’ve learned is how much I’m looking forward to Spring.  I long for that first decently warm day on the river so much.  I can picture it exactly—the water at just the right flow, hoards of insects coming to the surface to breath air for the first time, and lots of dimples in the water where they’re met by hungry trout.  I catch a half dozen fish, (including a brook trout, I’m dying to catch a brookie on the fly and I catch a really pretty one in this vision) and then sit by the bank and just watch the river for a while as the sun starts to sink, content at how great I am at fishing and what a wonderful day it’s been.

Cut to today when I’m standing in the Mill River swearing like a sailor at the tree branch that’s snared my double nymph rig, and is JUST too high off the water for me to reach and save my flies.  I’m cold, I haven’t caught a fish in weeks, and it really starts to feel like it’s always going to be like this.

But I know it won’t.  It will get warmer.  The insect hatches will begin.  The Slick Fins will become active once again.  And I will catch a damn brook trout, and I’ll appreciate it so much more having endured the long spell of winter.  Spring is going to really be something to savor this year.  Here’s to it.

(location of today’s adventure)

For an amazing book about the plethora of small streams in Fairfield County, CT that hold trout, pick up Jeff Yates’ Fly Fishing Fairfield County, available here:  http://www.flyfishingct.com/thebook.html

Until next, time, back to the grind of the city…