Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday Fishing Report: Transitions

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I launched the canoe this afternoon at the early opening trout lake. The maiden voyage of 2010. It was a beautiful day, and a day of transitions: windy to calm, warm to cold, bright to cloudy, day to dusk. And all around me the birds and the beavers and the muskrats were acting out the transition from winter to spring, from last season to a new season.
Earlier, I had transitioned my equipment from river and Steelhead to lake and trout, and then transitioned back into the routine of the canoe. I did pretty well, except I forgot the sandbag for the front of the canoe. Some may remember that due to the unfortunate accident involving a tree falling on the canoe, the bow seat, ideal for a single canoeist, has structural issues. So, to sit in the stern seat requires a weight in the bow to prevent it from rising into the air like the dragon prow of a viking ship.
Turns out, though, that the bow seat held me without any trouble. All I have to do is hitch myself over to the right a bit since the structural damage causes a slight sag to the left.
I also forgot the net; it's still hanging on its lanyard on the float tube. Turns out I didn't need that either. I really thought I'd catch some trout today, but I guess it takes a transition rather than a simple shift of gears.
It took me awhile to adjust my timing back to the four weight rod, and though I tried several flies and presentations--shallow, deep, trolling, slow retrieve, slower retrieve, really slow retrieve, fast retrieve, frustrated retrieve--I could tell I wasn't in tune yet with the lake or the trout.
I think they could tell, too. Good thing I have this lake and this "preseason" as a tune up--a transition--before my favorite lake opens on the 23rd.
So I leaned back and enjoyed--and tried to pay attention to--the transition. It's reassuring, actually, to realize that no season is a mere copy of the previous season. It's all new. You can bring your old bag of tricks, but you're going to get to learn some new tricks, too.
It's also reassuring to realize that you don't have to be that same guy you were last year. When you really live--and I'd argue that the fishing life, out there in the middle of the natural world's transitions, is a good way to really live--you'll simply never be the same again. So go ahead; make the transition.

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