Or rather, 0 for 3 to be precise. Those who know me best understand that I am not, by any stretch, a morning person. On the occasions that I do rise early, it is to catch a flight or fish. Happily these days, it's to fish. So it's with some dismay that I was skunked this week. I found myself falling out of bed around 5:30 on 3 separate mornings and, back home by 8-ish, I was scratching my head as I started my work day.
Day 1 - My neighbor, Greg, and I set out to hit the water in the early morning. I find myself needing to convince Greg that there are actually fish in the Farmington River as he and I have been out a handful of times together and I cannot bring him to fish. For that matter, I pull goose eggs when we are out together. I can't figure it out...we hit a stretch that has been very productive for me during this mild winter and, once again, nothin', zip, nada. Fortunately, both of us look at catching fish as a secondary benefit and enjoy the act of fishing and being out as much as landing fish.
Day 2 - Yet another rousing by my Blackberry alarm at 5:30. Convinced that today will be better and armed with an array of nymphs, I set out to an area that some rave about however, it's an area that I have difficulty fishing for some reason. Ok, lack of skills and or experience, but that's another story. I work my way through water that just screams FISH...nothin'...ok, let's move on, there looks to be some fishier water nearby. Hold on, is that a group of rising fish as 6:15 on a cold morning? Yep, I happened on a group of rising fish, porpoising, to their meal of choice. I was rigged for nymphing so I stood by and watched this event for about 15 minutes. Slowly inching my way into position, in flat water, I knew I would have 1 chance at this cast with my set up. My lure broke the glassy surface like a kid doing a cannon ball at the town pool. Success, 1 cast - 1 hook up, dammit...jump, head shake...gone! Surface activity shut down.
Day 3 - At this point, the circles under my eyes make me look like the wrong side of a Mike Tyson fight. What the hell, could I really get skunked a 3rd trip in a row? Being a total glutton for punishment, I again ventured to an area that is well thought of by many anglers yet, again, I struggle in this area. I begin surveying some nice looking water as I start to rig up. After a fruitless 30 minutes, I move to another area further downstream from my present locale. Again, all signs point toward a positive result however, I'm not sure what happened next. Chalk it up to a little frustration, possibly a little laziness or maybe just dumb luck...slip, fall, dunk...freaking COLD. Now, at this point, the sane person in me says, " maybe we should just call it a morning, head home, grab coffee and start working earlier today" - but then, the stubborn Irishman in me says, "I'll be damned, I got up at 5:30 to fish and I'm gonna do just that"
Well, with a left arm soaking wet, water doused pants inside of my waders and just the right amount of "what the hell", I stuck it out for another hour or so. Bad idea. At that point, my heart just wasn't in it at all. I was frustrated for having taken a dunk. Frustrated for not having landed a fish for a 3rd straight outing. Frustrated for not being able to figure out what I am doing wrong these last few trips...some days I feel like I take 3 fishing steps forward and than 2 back.
I've often referenced, in past posts, that I enjoy the time out in nature as much as I enjoy the fishing and that just being able to be out is satisfying enough. I think it might be time to rethink that concept. Do you think that Derek Jeter goes up to home plate thinking, boy, I'm just glad to be here, I don't need to get any hits today. I seriously doubt it.
I guess I should remind myself that, if it were easy, everyone would do it.