Another Friday morning began at 9:30 am. The text from Phil read “I’m a little tempted to hit the river this afternoon.” A quick glance at WxUnderground showed the day to be the warmest in the next two weeks. If we were to get in a day on the river before the Wisconsin early season opens, it would have to be now. Temptation also hit me. An afternoon on the river it is.
This trip to the Whitewater would mark my fourth this winter. I’d been skunked on the previous three. Not surprising, though. Lots of folks I’ve been talking to haven’t had much luck this winter. It’s like the fish have either been congregating in strange places or have initiated winter-long hunger strikes. Not that I could blame them. This winter has sucked. Snow lovers hate it because there is no snow and winter haters hate it because it is winter. I still couldn’t resist a day on the water.
The day started colder and windier than advertised. Windier. Yeah, that’s a word, I think. Forecast was 35F. Actual high was 25F. Wind was sustained at 5 mph with gusts to 10 mph. Not exactly awful, but made for some tricky casting.
We started at a frequented spot that gets a lot of pressure. It’s a point where the river runs parallel with the road for a bit before winding around in front of a bluff. The cows across the road greeted us like always. A loon paddled down the river, which is strange, because loons are migratory waterfowl and this river is small. If you’ve ever seen a loon take flight, you notice how long of a water runway is required. They aren’t exactly equipped for aerial ascension. Mr. Loon was floating down the river like a summer tuber. All he was missing was a separate tube for his cooler full of beer trailing behind him. My mind drifted to summer like the loon over a riffle. It’ll be four solid months before I’ll be slinging flies in a t-shirt.
The second spot of the day was a section of water I’d yet to explore. We were greeted with a plethora of deep pools and swirling water and seams–places guaranteed to hold trout. Again. Nothing. At least I got this cool shot of my rod and reel.
To ease the pain of catching nothing on the day, a trip to Little Oscar’s was in order. Few foods soothe the fishless soul than a burger from a highway cafe. Hampton, Minn. could be heaven.
I won’t be fly fishing again until the snow is gone. Unless I get another text at 9:30 a.m. on a day when I’ve got no other plans.