As we move into December, for many fishermen this marks the beginning of the “Dark Season" of fishing.
By “Dark", I don't mean anything secretive, nor do I imply any sort of clandestine operations taking place on our rivers and streams.
By “Dark", I simply mean the time of year when it is cold, gloomy, wet, and short of light-you know- perfect steelhead weather!!
Which is exactly my point.
Not that I don't appreciate the time when I can reflect on the years past “light filled" fishing adventures, places like, The Henry's Fork, The Rogue, The Kenai, The Owens, The Klamath-(and a few places I won't mention)-Or, grabbing a good book, re-charging my fishing wires-while the fish enjoy a break from the trevails of being a fish. And not that I don't appreciate the time to sit and tie the two fly patterns I know, and pick up magazines and start to plan out next year's wish list, BUT the year isn't over and there are still some fantastic fishing opportunities still out there.
One of the real nice things about this time of year is the lack of fishing pressure. Unless you live in the southern U. S. , or have the means to fly to Patagonia and start the second season, most folks aren't really too excited to venture into sub freezing temperatures and chip ice off of the ferules on their fishing rods.
So while most fishermen are content to grab the remote, watch some guy grab a bass by the lips and have another egg nog, others are out there enjoying the solitude of the season.
With todays’ hi-tech clothing technology, except when fishing in the Arctic or Swen and Ole's six inch hole in the ice, you can pretty much get yourself suited up to spend two or three hours comfortably outdoors chasing fish that usually have enough sense to remain where it is relatively warm.
At least WARM for a fish.
Fish don't stop feeding in the winter and the results can be INCREDIBLE!!
Even fly fishermen, if they can get their fingers to work on a size twenty-six midge, can coax fish up to the surface to take a microscopic offering.
Again, the point here is, if you put a little preparation, and thought into your fishing endeavors, you can still be out there enjoying the sport during the “Dark Season". It sure beats sitting around eating Aunt Holly's Double Lard Fruitcake!!
To me, there are still very little downsides.
Unless of course you count hypothermia, frostbite and freezing to death as downsides.
Of course, for some of you, sitting in a fish hut on some frozen lake, or standing in the steady drizzle of a Northwest rain, or cross country skiing to your fishing hole still won't sound like fun to you, so there is always Patagonia and New Zealand.
Thank God for Visa cards. . . . .
A. J. Klott
Author, writer of fishing humor, and “fly tack" peddler. A. J. writes about the people, characters and modern day events that surround the fishing world. His first book is due out in December of 2005. If you need a laugh or a fun gift, visit his website at: http://www.twoguyswithflys.com