Changing Seasons

Today was the day. The fishing bin came out of the back of the truck. We transitioned a few weeks ago to the smaller tub with just a couple of rods, nets, streamlined fly box, and the necklace of tools. The grain shovel, tow rope, and kitty litter pushed even those few things out today. Black Friday became concede fishing to winter day.

Trust me, this is a good thing. We moved to Colorado for winter. Ten years ago this Christmas we started making the drive from Oklahoma City to the San Juan Mountains for a week of gulping in winter. As an ice storm descends this weekend on the route we used to drive for all those years, I’m really grateful to be living at destination instead of facing icy roads in the Panhandles. It is far superior to live where winter moves in and sticks around for long months—easy to say for a girl raised in Minnesota—and I am content to let the fishing slack off when I can swing at waterfalls.

 We moved here two years ago excited about the ice climbing, the skiing, the hiking, but the fishing scene was not at the forefront of our minds. Things have changed. Now we tally the fishing days on the annual calendar of fun alongside bag nights and climbs. And the bin of rods lives in the truck much of the year just in case we feel like fishing. However, when the bed seeps from snow melting off axes and skis, it is time to just let the trout be and keep truck space available for crampons and tire chains.

 The beauty of our corner of Colorado is that there are sunny, warm days when fishing after a morning of skiing is a viable, pleasant option. We had such a double-header yesterday. First resort turns of the season at Crested Butte on a couple inches of fresh powder, and then an hour of tossing flies at lazy, large trout at the ponds at Roaring Judy Hatchery. Sure it looks a little funny casting a line in ski pants but I’m pretty sure that is not why the trout snubbed us. Whatever their reason, they were not interested and we realized it was time to put the rods on the rack in my office.

 For the next few months we give up spontaneous fishing and return to consciously grabbing the rods when the river calls. That will work just fine until the pasqueflowers bloom and then the rods return to life in a truck bed bin.

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