Mid winter and the blues can creep in any time now for the open water/stream fisherman. We tie flies, buy new rods and reels whether we need them or not I suppose to keep us in the "loop" of the world that awaits us, that we long for.
At some point if you fly fish, you just have to cast. You long to just cast. A green lawn would do nicely. The fishing part is, at a certain point in your life, almost a secondary thought to the act of throwing a beautiful, well timed loop that in your mind at least, lets a clump of grass on the lawn become a tight lie behind a log that holds a spotted fish.
Though I do not play golf, it is I assume, much like a golfer that just needs to swing the new driver that he got for Christmas, and somewhat like fly casting it requires enough over head space to allow for a true 'cast'. It will feel good to refresh certain muscles that have been dormant for too long and on their own long to work back to a rhythm that only months ago were natural and repetitious and, probably needed a break.
There is the planned trip to Tennessee in February that has become somewhat of a tradition that tends to ease the pain. Though not exactly a 'drive into spring time', fifty degree weather is as common as thirty five degrees in the southern Smokies in February and, in past years small yard flowers have shown themselves and seem to make the drive home to Michigan more difficult and, though you already know the answer, you find yourself asking the question to no one in particular, "why am I leaving"?
I suppose the lack of casting and fishing has less of an impact on the occasional angler that does not fall asleep at night with the visions of paddling, rowing, wading and casting a fly to spotted fish and small mouthed fish and ospreys, and the smell of cedar that they purposely crushed in their hand and, hopefully the sound of a grouse drumming on a log, because fly fishing is all of these things and they all have equal value as stimuli that gives us promise for tomorrow.
So we wait. And we tie flies. And we read books about fishing. We pace and fidget and assemble fly rods in the basement and wiggle them about and stare at the stained cork handle that fits your hand in such a natural way that it becomes easy to recall pleasant memories and beautiful places that are ingrained in you that are real and not a dream. They exist somewhere out there away from the stale air of the winter house under the stark bareness of the trees and under the ice and snow.
As we recall places and rivers we make a mental note that this year will be the year that we fish a certain river or stream that we never got around to fishing because there is only so much time and, the time somehow slipped away and then when you weren't looking......winter, in total stealth mode, snuck up on you and the long dark days of planning and promising and fidgeting was upon you like so many winters before and hopefully, many more to come.
The Fly Factor