Not more than 36 hours after getting home from Montana, I found myself driving east to spend some time with Rush River trout. This is the first year that the Wisconsin trout season opened at the first of the year. In previous years, we had to wait until March. I’m OK with an early season.
Last year was not a good year on the river. Fish were sluggish and skunks were more common than strikes. I was apprehensive to bring my gear to Montana after last winter’s poor luck, but did so anyways and was rewarded. Maybe I was still on the high of hauling in a bunch of rainbows, but I needed to get back on the water.
Rigging foams were set. Rod and reel were assembled, complete with two flies and a couple split-shots. All I needed to do was add a strike indicator. I parked the car and threw on my waders. Within five minutes of arriving, my line was wet. I fished an area first that has never shown me any fish. Still, I needed to fish it. After 30 minutes and a lost bug, I moved on to the next hole.
Snow is instant renewal for a landscape. What was brown and dying after the fall colors are gone becomes white. A blank canvas. Birds and deer and other wildlife are visible with the white backdrop. Standing next to a deep blue pool on a bright, white bank is an experience you can only get if you brave the cold.
My luck changed at the second hole. A small tug on my line yielded an equally small brown. A few casts later, another fish. It was becoming one of those days when you could catch them as long as you wanted to stand there. If this is any indication for how the 2016 season will be, we’re in for a treat.