Sunday, March 18, 2012


St Patrick’s Day used to be a big day for us. The festivities would start right after lunch and carry on until the next morning. Wake up still intoxicated and the smell of alcohol coming out through our pores. We would scramble to the nearest greasy spoon for the hangover fix since we had missed the nightcap of street meat. Not so much anymore. These days the after effects of binge boozing outweigh the day’s entertainment and the several hundreds of dollars invested in this celebration. This St. Paddy’s I would go fishing after my son’s hockey game and come home to dinner and a movie.
It was the very first thoughts as soon as I was awaken by the alarm clock. It had to be a sign, right? I figured it would be the usual day consisting of a game followed by a putter around the house for the remainder of the day only to confirm after dinner that very little was accomplished. The week had an unforeseen hectic pace and it was time to drop it down a gear. Yesterday, the goal was to slow down, chill and enjoy the river for a few hours.
On the way up, I passed an old one room schoolhouse that has remained standing against all odds. I pondered how simple life would have been. The building is an incredible site in today’s society where buildings are blown up, torn down and new ones built over top, burying history.
And then there was this home, struggling to stay upright. Protected from overgrowth and trees younger than itself, its existence may not survive too many more wind storms and harsh winters. Unless you slow down and take your eyes off the road, chances are you will miss it. Set back from the county road, it will surely be forgotten as the farmer ploughs and grows his crops around it.
Arriving at the access point mid-afternoon, the air was quite warm. The sky was clear and bright blue. The sun was high, making its way westward. Getting out of the car, I immediately started to glow. I was overdressed.  Walking to the river, it felt like April, just before trout opener. The surroundings seem to be weeks ahead of Mother Nature’s normal spring schedule. As I reached the banks, I sat for a bit before setting up. There were two others already there. I watched them cast repeatedly in the same drift until the one nodded to the other and moments later; they had their rods broken down and their chins tucked under. The river itself had a nice colour to it. Not gin clear but also not that preferred steelhead green. None the less, a call for chartreuse was in order.
For the first two hours, I was simply washing hooks and exercising the lungs. I moved from drift to drift, seam to seam, making short presentations in order to maintain line control in the fast flow. The wind was picking up but the decision was made to go to the lake section of the river to chance on what may be making an early run in. I loaded up the float to its maximum. The slightest interest would pull it under and many times, the surface current did just that. The float would pop back up and I would soon learn this was to be the norm and not necessarily that I was catching bottom. On one particular drift, I feathered the float in between two seams, into a flat spot. The float disappeared and did not return to the surface.
I spent the rest of the afternoon working the glossy slicks in what turned out to be one of the most relaxing days on the river I have had in a while.


  1. Awesome read GT. Congrats on a relaxing outing. I fear this weather has signed an early death notice for the spring season. Seems we went from winter to early May. My weekend was spent as grounds keeper and wood cutter at the cabin...The big river has been mud for over a week now and shows no signs of clearing for a bit.
    Glad to read you found a couple out there.
    take care,

  2. I know exactly where that school is. I always look at it as I pass by but have never stopped. Good on you for getting March Break break for yourself.


  3. Thank you Brian. Some trips seem to have just the right timing for the soul........... Jack, in the 15 years of driving that route up in the dark, I never noticed it as the return home is usually a different one. LOL

  4. Good show Bro. Great write up as always and fantastic shots. You seem to be a natural with that camera. Looking forward to resi's this season. Perhaps you can capture my good side?

    1. Cheers Tony. As for the captures, okay, but I am not taking any of those "money shots"...... :0

  5. Good for you for getting out there Gil. I haven't had any interest ...yet...
    I am sure I will find myself covering the water and fighting the bugs and cursing the bass at least once this year.
    Good luck and nice read BTW.

  6. Thanks Gene. That interest will come to you soon enough and I will look foward to your recap of it.

  7. Great read GT, good on you for hooking a few with the summer like conditions. I too always look at that old school house. Cool old buildings, my brother and his family actually live in the very school house his father-in-law attended while growing up. The house has since been renovated but the schoolhouse portion remains as a heritage designation being well over 100 years old.


  8. Thanks Ron. That is very cool about your brother. Cheers for sharing. IMO, any building over 100 years old needs to be preserved as best as possible.