It took nearly three hours to shovel the driveway. That’s more than enough time to daydream about fly fishing. I imagined how nice it would be to be fishing a local tributary, instead of shoveling. Fresh snow, undisturbed banks and a solid whiteness surrounding the creek. There’s something serenely inspiring to be on the water after that first heavy snow. It’s extra nice after our sparse snow last season, to get walloped this December with a heavy blanket of snow. Just think about that push from fresh steelhead as some of this snow melts…
One of the beautiful aspects of angling is that we are dreamers. We imagine catching trophy fish, envision epic trips, anticipate each strike and look forward to what the angling future brings. A heavy snow and cool temps, fuel our optimism towards future angling adventures. It’s early in the season, but I’m already besieged by a minor case of cabin fever. Holiday plans and an out of state family wedding have me committed to a non-fishing period. So, with a heavy snow on the ground and no wiggle room to fish over the next few days, I’m dreaming about fishing. As 2012 comes to a close, here is my 2013 Angling Wish List.
1. Plenty of snow and rain over the next dozen months. Lake Ontario is low, our tributaries are low, freestone creeks are low and we could use numerous, long soaking rains. Water levels impact spawn activity, fish location and more. The more water, the more options fish have. Water level is also a major influencing factor in our tailwater fisheries such as the West Canada, West Branch of the Delaware and the Salmon River.
2. More anglers picking up streamside trash. We’ve all got to do a better job of removing potential trash from our fisheries. As stewards of the river, it’s incumbent that we protect and respect our fisheries. How difficult is it to carry a plastic trash bag with you and on your hike back to the car, pick up a stray bottle or hook package?
3. That first steelhead of the season, hooked on a swinging fly. There’s something electric and magical about that unexpected tug as your fly swings across the current. I don’t know if my first steelie will come from the Genny, Cat, Salmon, Oak Orchard or a smaller tributary, but I’m already looking forward to that jolt on the fly line.
4. A minimal wind, overcast afternoon with hendricksons popping and trout sipping on the West Branch of the Delaware. There’s no finer harbinger of Spring than this fabled mayfly hatch on an equally fabled water. The hatch is strong, the fish hefty and the fishery is superb when things really get going.
5. A new fly reel to compliment my JP Ross, 4 piece, 4 weight custom Onyx rod. JP created a beautiful custom rod for me and I have to compliment the detailing on that rod with an appropriate, cool reel. I’m torn between dusting off my grandfather’s Hardy reel or purchasing a new, high tech, lightweight large arbor model.
6. More time for carp. Last season, I got away from chasing these persnickety bottom feeders. They are abundant in my home town, grow large and offer fun sight fishing. I need to target these guys more in 2013. Besides, it’s nice to have a nearby fishery that you can spend an hour at, and still get things done around the house.
7. Permission from that farmer to fish his large, undisturbed bass pond. I finally made contact with an elusive landowner. It looks like he has consented to let my fly fish (catch and release). It has great structure, cat tails and looks “bassy”. I’m already picturing those bucket mouthed denizens inhaling my deer hair sliders.
8. A better crab pattern and opportunities for redemption against very discriminating stripers. I was humbled last season in some critical, sight fishing scenarios. The year before I did well, but this past year year I only managed a few small schoolies on my crab patterns. My tying time is limited and I might just shell out a few dollars for new, yummy looking crab patterns. Perhaps the Montana Fly Company “Crabby Patty will be that elusive difference maker!
10. More time to fish with my two young sons, nephews, brother, father and brother-in-law. I’m blessed to have numerous family members who enjoy fishing. Our time is precious and it’s even more valuable when we are on the water.
That’s my 2013 Angling Wish List. I’m sure there’s a dozen more wishes that I left out, but it’s a start. I’m thankful for the snow. It’s given me some needed time to reflect upon 2012 and plan for 2013. As an optimistic angler, my rose colored glasses are shining bright as we enter 2013. May this be your best angling year to date and thanks for keeping up with Flyfishingchronicles!
Latest posts by Craig Dennison (see all)
- Floating the Main Stem and East Branch of the Delaware - April 20, 2017
- Al and the Three Bears - March 27, 2017
- Salmon River Craziness - October 13, 2016