Today, April 1, 2014, marks another opening day of trout fishing in brooks and streams. As per tradition, I arose before sunrise, had a cup of coffee and headed out fishing. But what awaited me was something totally unexpected. Everything was frozen.
Streams that are normally productive on this day were locked up in a thick coating of ice. The few that I did find open had shelf ice on the edges, making it tricky if not dangerous to venture out and take a cast.
Streamsides and banks were treacherous because of snow and ice. I slipped while climbing a wet, snowy hillside on my way back from a stream. Another place saw me breaking through the snowcrust up to my knees at every other step. This was where old cattail stalks stuck up only a foot or so above the snow. Had I thought, I would have realized that cattail stalks, even old, brown dead ones, are taller than one foot.
Every time I broke through, it would knock the wind out of me. In short, this old body endured a virtual marathon of physical demands. And the at most, I’m just a little tired right now, but that might be mostly a result of tossing and turning last night, sleepless, like a youngster on the night before Christmas.
As per results, not a trout moved. Nary a bite. This marks the first opening day in many, many years that I have gone fishless. Well, not exactly. My plans for fish for supper being dashed, I stopped by the store on the way home and bought a fresh Atlantic salmon fillet.
Usually on April I, a few wild plants are in evidence. This year the only plant I saw was a toxic one, buttercups. These had overwintered on a wet, sunny hillside. But as per useful plants, it looks as though we’ll need to wait just a bit longer for spring to arrive in earnest.