Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Battle was On

Me vs. Mother Nature. It's been in the 90's with a few 100's over the past few weeks and will continue through the rest of the week. But today, my only day off, it started in the upper 40's with high winds and storms a brewin'. I knew this morning that it was going to be a tough one. I had hoped I was finished with my waders for the season, but not today. High winds, cool temps and rain were a combo I wasn't willing to take a chance with. So out came the Fall wear and off to the river. It was still partly sunny as I dropped the kids off and made my trek to the water. I knew I had made the right decision about clothing within the first minute the kayak left the bank.

They weren't kidding about the 20-30mph winds. I was about a hundred yards into that constant headwind, and I was overwhelmed with creative thoughts. So I channeled my inner poet and wrote a masterpiece. "Oh, my dear friend, the suck." - Aggroman
(I had to edit 43 choice words out to make it family friendly and that's all that was left)

I got over my first portage without any problems. It dropped down with higher banks so the wind wasn't as terrible and I was able to cast more than once without resetting. I was an hour in and only had two fish on the books. It was more about me not getting the lure to them than anything. Oh, I can hit the tree above, six feet in front, the bush to the side, anywhere but my target. I will blame the wind again.

I was finally able to get to a stretch that I could use my anchor trolley. The runs before were too short between shallows to mess with it. Finally some deep water. It was amazing how much my accuracy improved when i'm only dealing with the rod as opposed to...adjust, cast, adjust, adjust, crap, reel in, adjust. With that, came more fish. Including this 20.5 incher.

Even some of the little dudes joined in, like this overzealous guy whose eyes were bigger than his stomach...and body.

Now comes the part I had feared. The clouds were getting thicker and I could hear the rumbling in the distance. I wasn't even half as far as I had planned on going. I was watching the skies, but now I was at a crossroads. Keep going and risk it for the chance of a double digit bass, an always present thought when fishing, or turn around and start heading back with the feeling of leaving that double digit dude without having a formal introduction.

Decision time.

As I was standing there, I heard my phone buzz with a new text. It was my wife. "Love ya babe, how's the weather there?" I actually laughed out loud. What timing. What was I doing out here? Wind howling, thunder getting louder, and it's starting to rain. WHOA!! That lightning was close. Yep, it was time to get back to the truck.

Then came the rains, and not just a sprinkle.

 The skies were dark and the thunder was starting to making me jumpy. It's strange how, just in a small amount of time, things can change.

 Same spot about 20 minutes later on the way back.

More lightning, more thunder, more wind, more rain...what else for pete's sake?

Oh. hail. Go figure.

Fortunately it only lasted a few minutes and was very small. It was pretty loud all around me hitting the water though.

Then it got calm, and that always worries me. But as I looked around, the clouds weren't as dark and thick. So I decided to slow down a little and fish some spots I couldn't throw to very easy because of the wind.

I grabbed a few more bass before it started to rain again. Then BOOM! another clap of thunder."Wow that was close." I reeled it in and got back to the truck without wasting anymore time. After all that, it was still an awesome day on the water. Many a fish were caught and I made it out safely. I don't think i'll try this again with the forecast the way it was. Yes, I wanted to go fishing, but at what cost. I wasn't thinking about all that junk. I guess I needed a reminder of what I preach to my kids and any other kayaker who will first. Always.

So, is this dedication or stupidity? Well, I'm pretty sure it was a bit of both...leaning a bit heavy on the latter. I'm still going to call it a draw with Mother Nature.

Thanks for coming along,

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