A semi-coherant collection of ramblings,misdealings, and Tom Foolery experienced in pursuit of Great Lakes Steelhead.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Weekend with Norland Day 3
Day three was primarily the reason for the trip. Aside from the typical camaraderie that goes along with a guys weekend the business day was going to be day 3 as the weather was forecast to be plus 5 and fair weather skies. We awoke to a moderately cold morning and took our time before hooking up the Hyde and making our way towards the Bear Creek Launch. As previously mentioned the weather prediction for the day was into the positives and we were very much looking forward to a comfortable day on the lower river.
We pulled into the access and began to prep the Hyde for launch. And then it happened... as if a switch were thrown, the skies began to transition from blue to grey, the winds picked up and the temps started to drop. We kept a positive outlook and began to float down the river stopping at every fishy looking locale. The further we floated down river the more the weather intensified. Each time we found reprieve from the cold winds they managed to sniff us out and once again remind us of their presence.
By the time we had floated a mile or so of river we were in the midst of an unforecasted spring snowstorm. A true weather anomaly...A true Norland event! The wind was driving the snow almost parallel to the river surface and prospect of a decent drift was pretty much null and void. By now we had made an honest effort and anything we mustered up failed to elicit any finned response. It was time to surrender to the Norland Curse. A day that was forecast to be very comfortable some how turned to the polar opposite.
Its getting harder and harder to dispel the Gene's syndrome. I have now come to realize it is greater than any effort I could possibly put forth to challenge it. We actually felt compelled to apologize to a crew of fellow anglers on the water.
Finally the anchor was pulled and the outboard started. We made the turn and headed back to the launch in the driving snow all the while laughing at our misfortune.
On our way we passed a boat that was set up in a run we had fished hours earlier. As we approached the boat one of the gentlemen fishing at the stern set up on a big fish deep into the drift as if to throw salt into our already frozen wounds. We carried on to the launch and pulled the boat out for the day and made our way back to the cabin. It was approaching 3:30. I was not ready to completly accept defeat and asked Norland if he was interested in dropping the Hyde at the cabin and hitting the dam for some vindication.
I fully expected him to opt out for the warmth of the cabin and the couch but he took the offer readily. We backed the boat into the garage and made our way to access. When we arrived there was only one vehicle in the parking lot. We quickly made the descent and arrived to a lonely river bank. The river visibility had notably improved from the day prior and flow was still very proud. We dropped in and began to pick away at our favoured lines.
Within 3 or 4 drifts we simultaneously set up on a pair of fish. My leader quickly reminded me I needed to retie while Gene continued to fight his first fish of the trip. It wasn't long before a pristine chrome slab lay at his feet. The ear to ear grin spoke the tale of accomplishment and i quickly captured the moment digitally. For the next hour or two under driving snow and bitter cold we continued to persuade fish from the swift center lines. We battled frozen guides and hands but were rewarded heavily for the efforts. There was a mixture of beautifully colored winter fish and some new dime bright chrome. Timing is everything and sometimes its all about location...being in the right place at the right time. One certainty I have learned over the years is it really isn't over until the rods are back in the truck. Anything can happen when the floats are in the water and if there are options one is best to persue them if willing. It certainly is nice to win once in a while...
One more Day left...