This Summer…

… should be pretty awesome.

This Thursday I’m heading north to Wisconsin for a long weekend and get to spend a day (and if I work it right maybe another morning or afternoon) fishing the driftless region.

Towards the end of June I’m heading to my hometown of Charleston, SC and have a few days set aside to chase tails in the grass.

Then I’m heading to New York where I’ll be able hit some those renowned Catskill streams I used to haunt when I lived up that way.

And I may also be hitting Pennsylvania in August.

These with the occasional local trip should keep me fishing most of the summer.

So yeah, everything seems to be coming up, well… me. (Let’s hope some greater power doesn’t interpret this post as a sign of hubris and decide to take action.)


Flies and the Driftless

A week from today my family and I will be piling into our cramped vehicle and heading for the great state of Wisconsin to enjoy the festivities of the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world”That’s the official reason we’re heading to WI.

As you probably guessed already, I have my own reasons for making this annual pilgrimage to the land of cheese, and the number one reason is trout. Butter burgers from Culver’s run a close second, but mainly it’s the trout.

Last year was the first time I fished Wisconsin’s driftless region. I did some research before hand, learned about the spring creeks, the hatches, found out what the hot flies were, tied some nice dries, some small nymphs and got there to find out that all the rivers were blown-out due to the two previous days of torrential downpour. I did catch fish, but they were few and far between and all on streamers, of which I only had five of…

This year I refuse to be ill-prepared.

Except, at this particular point in time, one week away from leaving for the driftless, I am woefully ill-prepared.

It’s my own fault. I’ve had time to tie for the WI trip, but I found myself obsessing over getting this bass fly right. In the time it takes to tie one of those I could tie four or more streamers. And I haven’t even started on the dries and nymphs I need to fill  in the blanks.

So, with a heart that would be much heaver if it was for any other reason, I am going on a brief hiatus so I can tie flies and go fishing.  I’ll probably still check out what everyone else is doing and I’m going to test out my new bass fly tomorrow so you’ll get to hear about that, but I’ll probably be pretty quiet until after May.

Experience Needed

I need to go fly fishing. Seriously, I need to wet a line, sling some string, throw some tight loops, what ever your preferred colloquialism is, I need to go do it.

It’s been getting bad. I’ve been snappy with my family (my wife would say snappy-er). I’ve been twitchy. I occasionally find myself watching our pet beta in an unwholesome way. Even most of my dreams have been about fly fishing lately.

Some are wonderful dreams featuring tropical islands, thrashing tarpon and clear blue water. Most though are nightmares of Lovecraftian proportions. In the last one, I went to fish a fast, clear mountain stream that morphed into a muddy pond as I watched. I remember thinking in this dream that I could still salvage the trip, all I had to do was find my streamer box. I rummaged through the cyclopean depths of my bottomless pack for what seemed like aeons until I pulled out a tattered and broken foam fly box that had one unraveled, black woolly bugger in it…

Now, I won’t claim that I woke in a cold sweat, screaming over this nightmare, but it sure as hell wasn’t a pleasant feeling.

The worst part of all this is that I can cure my affliction with a simple formula: me + fly rod + water = a much less agitated Agitated Angler. But, and there’s always a but, this formula won’t work without time + $$$$$, nether of which I have in great abundance at this particular moment.

There is some relief in the foreseeable future for my ailment though. My buddy who wants me to teach him to fly fish is coming over this weekend so at least I’ll get in some casting practice.

I also get to go to Charleston, SC at the end of February for a wedding. The redfish will be schooling on the flats and I get the mornings to work on catching some of them.

Not to mention that I found someone who wants to float the upper Broad river with me, which is one of the few bodies of water here in South Carolina with a population of smallmouth bass.

And in May I should be heading up to Wisconsin, where my wife will attend WisCon, “the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world”, and I will spend time floating, drifting and swinging flies throughout the driftless region.

So, with these planed trips and the spur of the moment trips that I know I’ll make to local ponds to hit the spring spawn(s), I should be able to shake off this nasty case of what-ever-you-want-to-call-it and get on with my life. Unless the waiting kills me first.