Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Go Time

It's the eve before our favorite trip of the year and even Mother Nature's belated April fool's joke of snow this morning could not spoil it. The traditional opener of Connecticut's trout season is just days away and we are going to celebrate on the banks of the Farmington River the best way we know how, by camping, fishing, eating and drinking with good friends and family.

It's funny the way anticipation for this trip always builds weeks in advance--time seems to slow to a helgramite's pace just before we leave and then shifts to warp speed when we're actually there. To set the table for another memorable celebration of spring, here are some posts from the last few Opening Days: 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Tight lines!

What it's all about!

Like A Pro

I have a knack for bringing family members fishing in undesirable conditions, like the time I took my brother out in search of his first striped bass in 30-knot winds or when I brought my wife fly-fishing for the first time and she took a dip in a swollen Farmington River. Well, as they say, the best time to fish is when you can, so when my wife expressed interest in taking another stab at her first trout on the fly I jumped at the chance. As luck would have it, the morning we chose to have another go felt more like March than April and the water was high and cold. It's always fun to share things you're passionate about with your partner, but patience was running thin on both parties after two spots proved void of life. Before throwing in the towel, however, we drove by an iconic pool on the Farmington without an angler in sight, which is pretty rare for this time of year. We went up to the head of the run and things started coming together with her best drifts of the day. The Fish Gods must have been in a good mood because just as a sliver of sun poked through the clouds, my wife's strike indicator hesitated as a dark, feisty rainbow trout ate the green, buggy nymph on the end of her line. A panicked fight ensued before I ninja-swiped the trout with my net long before the trout was ready to give up. It was all high-fives and smiles until it was time to hoist the slimy captive for photographic proof. After a few laughable attempts, she gripped and grinned like a pro then sent the beautiful creature back to the depths so someone else can experience that same wonderful feeling down the road.
The smile says it all!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Wall

I have always admired the walls of tackle shops adorned with surfcasting lures. At one of my favorite spots, Rivers End in Old Saybrook, hanging above the plugs for sale are dozens of retired ones, each with its own story to tell. Not only are plug walls cool to look at, it's a smart and easy way to organize them. For too long I've stored my collection in large plastic boxes. I'm not saying that's not a good way to stay organized, it can be and often is. But to rifle through boxes when preparing for a trip can be time consuming and frustrating. Cherry-picking them off a wall is much more preferable to me. And when I'm not fishing, I can spend hours just playing with the lures like I did with green plastic army men when I was seven years old. 
So I recently went to one of those big box stores that shall remain nameless and, for under $40, picked up some 2'x4's, a large section of peg board and some peg board hooks and, voilĂ !, my new plug wall was born. It doesn't matter that I probably definitely surf fish with eels and bunker more than lures these days, the wall looks pretty badass and when I'm in the middle of a Chinese fire drill getting ready for a impromptu surfcasting session, at least it will save me a little preparation time.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Taking Shape

Regretfully, this is not a post about a last-hurrah ice fishing trip or wild trout keyed-in on black stone flies. This post is about organization. Prior to purchasing our first home, my wife and I lived in two different places over the last several years, each of which was up a few flights of stairs--not really ideal for maneuvering with long fishing rods in low light or lugging a sled-full of ice equipment. So to say I'm excited about now having a large basement with a full walk-out and ample storage space is an understatement.

I have been logging respectable time in the new man cave over the last few weeks. It's like a big blank canvas and I'm trying to figure out the most optimal layout. It's very unfinished and will likely stay that way until, God-willing, we have enough kids to warrant a play room someday. So for now it will remain a dim and dusty angler's paradise, a place to hang my rods and tinker with gear.

It's perfect.