The slow, delayed spring has led to some Disappointing Dad Syndrome. I took my nine-year-old pike fishing twice (from shore) in hopes of finding some hungry pike that will eat a fly, or worst case, a five of diamonds on somewhat random retrieve. Unfortunately, we were skunked – seriously skunked in a place fisherman can sometimes catch fish after fish. Instead, we encountered cold water (I personally tested this when the wind and waves invited me in for a swim – delighted my boy), disappointed fisherman, wind or the complete absence of wind replaced by clouds of midges. And yeah, kids don’t love midges as much as fisherman do. Perhaps most disappointing, the candy store, a necessary stop, was shuttered in the wake of the pandemic - so we settled for cupboard candy (a bit stale apparently) and dairy queen.
Despite the lack of fish, we found bugs, leeches, bones and even other kids. We had a lesson about how fisherman sometimes stretch the truth after this kid, who apparently just caught thirteen fish, had somehow had just run out of luck. Or maybe thirteen is bad luck and this kid was bad luck? We’ll never know.
We nevertheless kept our hopes high that fish would eat and watched as other disappointed fisherman left the shores while discussing the many factors that led to a slow day.
The reality is the cold water is keeping fish in places other than in shallow areas. Of course, this depends on the waterbody, location, wind, substrate and numerous other factors - is Mercury to close to Venus, did I forget my lucky underwear?
This week should change things. Sunshine is going to warm us all up. It will help move thermoclines, move fish and make for some great days. We will remain optimists and keep trying until we have the day we expect. In the meantime I will tie something delicious and buy some more candy.
Note: Apparently some fisherman have actually caught fish in the last two weeks, fishing their flies very slowly in deeper water – possibly while napping.