Are you surprised? It me four days to get to a river and wet a line. I tried to go yesterday, but here in the hills the snow and ice made for unsafe driving. I made it down the driveway and then slid across the street. This wasn't enough to stop me at first, but then a car coming up the road couldn't get past the first real incline. So after a quick assessment, I pulled back into the bottom of my driveway and walked back up to the house.
Today was another day. A day with thick clouds, patches of ground fog covering the open fields, and temperatures in the upper 40's. When I got to the river, the water level was up quite a bit from the rain, but mostly clear. The chilly, humid air bit into my face when the breeze kicked up, which was just often enough to keep my mind from thinking spring was closer than it really is. And when I looked up, the layers of gray winter clouds moved rapidly across the sky, just like they always seem to before a major change in the weather.
After getting my gear on and walking through the woods to the river, I rigged up my rod and began fishing. I started with nymphs; fishing them deep and slow, but without much cooperation from the trout. I switched flies a few times, and had one take on a Walt's Worm - a brief hook up that was just long enough to get me excited. I continued to fish nymphs for another hour or so as I worked through the pool, but to no avail. Trout 1 - me 0.
I then changed up my leader and put on a black woolly bugger. This fly is a winter go-to fly for me when the going gets tough. I fished it hard and covered a lot of water over the next hour or so. I managed to get a couple of hard bumps, and even saw the flash of a trout as it chased and then turned away from the fly at the last second. Then darkness set in. I stepped out of the stream, gathered my fly and hooked it to the rod before taking a slow, pleasant walk back to my car.
I got shut out, yes, but I was very happy to have spent a few hours out on the water casting a line and giving my mind a break from the technology that invades it everywhere else I go.
Sharpen your hooks. I'll be back.