Friday, December 10, 2010

Festivus For the Rest of Us.

With Thanksgiving dinner settling nicely in our stomachs, and our relatives departing the house, my father and I turned our focus to an upcoming trip. He hit the bed for some much needed sleep, while I focused on tying some last second flies and packing everything needed for the two of us. A tradition of sorts, we are about to head off to the Lake Erie tributaries for the fourth year in a row. With my brother in the Caribbean and Adam working, my father and I would be keeping each other company over the next three days. The area was receiving some heavy rain, and I was telling my dad about all the fresh chrome we were going to be catching as we drove all night to our intended destination.

Arriving well before sunrise, I stepped out of the car and heard a familiar sound. Rushing water. Normally, I love this sound, but this sounded like Niagara Falls. Peering over the bridge, my head lamp revealed a torrent of nestle quick, several trees floating downstream, and water levels well past the bank. Not good. Soon other anglers arrived, and after some talking we decided that our best bet would be downstream near the mouth of the stream. As the sun rose, we met another young angler near the mouth, nursing a strong hangover & eager to tie into some fresh fish. While my dad slept in the truck, I hit the water with some new friends. Near the mouth, the wind was gushing upwards of forty miles an hour and the temperature was in the high 20s. Glove less, I swung some heavy and large flies through the chocolate milk routinely catching debris. After a few hours, I headed back to the truck.

Awakening from his slumber, my father and I drove around for awhile looking for some water. Despite the terrible conditions and the freezing cold, the place was a mad house. There is no escaping crowds on these small tribs. My father then suggested some breakfast at a local restaurant. I willingly obliged and we headed in for a respite from the cold, some coffee to perk us up, and a round of eggs and bacon to fill our bellies. I normally never take a break while fishing. With my father, it became routine. Everyday after a short morning session, we hit a small diner or cafe and ate breakfast together. It was a welcomed change and it was nice to unwind between fishing sessions. After an afternoon searching and probing the unknown, we looked for a hotel. Again, I normally am accustomed to sleeping in the bed of my truck, and here I am getting spoiled by a warm hotel room with wi-fi and college football. After a full meal, my father and I settled in on a Seinfeld marathon entitled "Festivus for the rest of us". Being one of our favorite shows, we shared laughs episode after episode.

The remaining day and half on the water was spent checking out new water that we never fished before. We checked out some very tiny tributaries and found some clear water but no steelies running the higher flows. Disappointed we checked another smaller tributary and found it muddier than the day before. With the last hour of light, a larger tributary was starting to clear and each of us hooked up for the first time of the trip. My father, inexperienced fighting aggressive fish on the fly, broke one off while I landed a large male to find him foul hooked on the chin. We awoke early the next morning hoping to get a few hours in before the long drive back to work the following day. The few hours ended similar to the previous night and we packed it in.

Not all fishing trips end up being about the fish. This particular trip offered many challenges, yet I was left satisfied with my skunking. I got to spend some quality time with my father both on and off the water. We discovered some new places, that I am itching to explore on a later journey, hopefully with Big Poppa Pump in tow. Our short sojourn proved to be a festivus for the both of us and next year, hopefully I can beat some steelhead during the feats of strength. 

1 comment:

All about the grab said...

Quality time is hard to come by in this day and age,Still,a great read none the less.