April 16, 2007
Spring Brings Promise
Spring brings promise. The rivers are cleansed of the winter decay. The water has a sparkling vibrancy. There's a sharpness in the newly emerged leaves and grasses. The riverine forests are full of bird songs and Ohio's steelhead have commenced their spawning run. Every time the river's rise from rain, the fish push into the rivers and had for the gravel beds. Some spawn not far from the lake, while others go to the upper reaches, many miles away. There both males and females start the process of digging out redds, depositing eggs and fertilizing them. But for me, the end is almost here. Spring is not my favorite time of the season. The warmer weather brings out more people and some of them are worst form of anglers. I never see them during the winter months. They only appear whenever the fish are on the beds. I never fish the beds, it would be too easy and I would be disgusted with myself. Instead working the deeper pools and holes and maybe is around.
The grind has gotten to me. I feel burned out and I need time to unwind. I sit on a log on top of bank and I watch steelhead spawning. The water is clear enough that I can the hen move to side and dug out some gravel. I see the plume of debris rise and swept away. A group of males all of them evenly sized try to get along the female. They jockey and push one another. There is no alpha male here because if there was, he would be the only one next to her. Then I see a couple of anglers walking the trail on the other side. Doesn't take much to figure out where they're going. One of them points out the fish to his partner. I'm tempted to toss a rock out and scare the fish, but there's no rocks. I despise them as my eyes lock on them. Their unblemished waders, over priced rods and lack of ethics makes me sick. Into the water they go and they immediately start to present their offerings. That's enough for me as I don't want to be witness to that.
Once back at the Jeep, I undress and sit back and enjoy lunch. It's a beautiful spring day and the park is a bustling place full of people who were probably shacked up for the winter. I'll start the long slow process of stowing some of the gear away for the summer. Waders and the jacket will be washed and carefully packed away. The boots will be inspected for cracks and tears. The old line removed and the reels cleaned and oiled. The pin will be replaced by the fly rod as I'll switch from steelhead to carp. I'll spend the evenings tying various carp flies.
Summer will be spent working hard. I'll be driving down the country roads of Ohio and Pennsylvania. The road will eventually take me somewhere special and interesting. I'll be playing after dark at one of the local tavern and pubs. Enjoying a ice cold beer and the company of friends. Usually this comforts me and makes summer go a little faster until the cool winds come across Lake Erie beckoning another season is getting close.