For a few weeks now it’s either been raining like cats and dogs or bitter cold. At least for this neck of the woods, where anything below 40 degrees is uncommon. A day ago it was -18 degrees in the in the Sierra Nevada’s Long Valley Caldera, a little volcanic crater of roughly 200 square miles that I’m not likely to fish at such temperatures. If I do, it’ll be via snowmobile and with a supply of Glen Morangie.
It’s good weather to mark on the new year’s calendar the days that’ll be dedicated to fishing. They’re adding up nicely.
It’s not that I’ll be sitting on my hands until the general trout season reopens. There’s a fly rod to be built and flies to be tied. We’ll finish the rod by early February during a series of Saturday sessions. Fly tying will include giving guidance to a son who wants to learn. Then there are trips to plan.
I think it was about three years ago that the realization set in that there was pleasure to be found in the planning of fishing trips. Planning can be a pain in the arse, sometimes literally, because the Internet has opened the doors to a crushing abundance of information; then it took a while to learn to let go of the niggling worries about the actual outcome of a trip.
So, rather than wantonly throw out New Year’s resolutions that are likely to remain unachieved, my inclination is to etch things in wet cement as soon as possible. Things were set in motion this year by that preference and petitions for early planning from some of the folks who’ve participated in the club-sanctioned trip I lead in the Eastern Sierra.
Lest anyone think that there’s an inherent selflessness in these acts, the record should be set straight. Part of my willingness to teach Sean to tie flies is rooted in the self-serving belief it’s high time that he lose his own flies. It’s with as much resignation as can be mustered that I’ll inform The Wife that I must again act as ‘fishmaster’ for the club’s Eastern Sierra trip, quietly omitting the multitude of benefits it offers.
Most fly fishermen will ascribe good fishing and great scenery to favorite fishing venues. The Eastern Sierra excellently fits that bill and hopes are high that this year it will be even better. The snowpack is in great shape and water levels are good; both point to fantastic things in the fall. For those who’ve never been, the attraction of the Eastern Sierra can be modestly measured by the six folks who’ve already committed to a trip that doesn’t take place for another nine months. Those benefits that need not worry my wife: good food, home-brewed beer and great fishing far away from clocks and everyday concerns.
This year my volunteerism will extend to kindly offering to aid a fellow fly fisherman to get acquainted with Crowley Lake. We’ll spend our first day on the lake with a guide I’ve employed a few times each of the last several years, as an introduction to Crowley for my friend and an opportunity to update my knowledge of current conditions. During the subsequent days there might just be an occasion or two to spend more time on the lake fishing from my friend’s boat. As you know by now, in no way did this influence my desire to help.