Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The first and really only snow of the winter in Delaware arrived towards the end of January. It came down heavy and had a fresh coating of ice and freezing rain. Last year, we already had two weeks off from school and several feet. In this year's absence of snow, periods of warm weather have provided ample fishing opportunities. However, I long for more snow. My favorite times to fish are the lonely mornings after a snow, when every inch of earth has a fresh coat of precipitation and appears untouched by the hand of man.
Early one Saturday, I anticipated snow and made my way out and about as Delaware awoke to clean the streets. Word of a fresh winter stocking left me with high hopes of finding several fish and I was not disappointed. Despite a few weeks of intense pressure, the fish were willing to hit several patterns slightly different than normal offerings. I settled on the reliability of a green caddis pupa followed by a minuscule midge. The vast majority of fish fell for the midge. The takes were soft and I missed several fish with my slow reaction time courtesy of the very low temperatures.
The fish were typical stocked fish. Most were missing fins or had something resembling a fin. They had outlandish colors or lacked any color at all. Crafted and nurtured by the hand of man, they contrasted sharply with my white surroundings. As a product of a state without any wild trout water, they are all I have nearby and for that I am thankful, no matter how ugly they can be.