Thursday, January 19, 2017

Winter Times

It's been a busy winter.  Fall too.  I feel spring on the horizon though - even if, technically, we are in the grips of winter.  It's oddly warm for mid January and looks like it will be until late next week.  My theory, is that for every mid winter warm patch, you have fewer total days that can be super cold... So, even if March is really wintery, we are closing in on the end relatively easily compared to a winter like 2 years ago when we had about 4 feet of snow on the ground most of the way!

Normally by this point, I've tied up a lot of flies by mid January.  This year, I havent viced a hook yet!  Some is due to work busy-ness, and some life.  I have a webinar I'm doing for USACycling's coach ed program in a week, that's got me crunched on time... But, tomorrow is the fly fishing show here and I'm looking forward to attending for a hour or two... Hopefully once I'm through the webinar I can get to the vice... Ill be rusty.

That said, good things are going on to.  A few weeks ago when my wife was working we took in the final night of a local botanical garden's winter light show.  The pic's dont do justice here - it was amazing!  What you see below are trained vines which form rooms and towers, they had them all lit up different ways, and the surrounding hardwood forest was speckled laser lights for acres - it was surreal. that's my son moving fast in the orange snow pants...

Inside, they had cleared out one room of the indoor plant displays and built an igloo - those are galon milk jugs!  The kids thought it was amazing!  I did too...

With deer season done, I get back to my cycling habit.  I added to my bike quiver late last summer with a "fat" bike.  These are goofy looking mountain bikes with 4-5" wide tires.  The traction is unreal, and they feel like an older full suspension bike with 1.5-2" of poorly modulated suspension with really bad damping.  If you are old enough (or a mountain biker at all) to remember the old proflex full suspension bikes... It's not dissimilar.  I mean, with these giant tires you can ride 4-10PSI without burping the tire off the rim or pinchflatting.  So you get a lot of compression in the tires for "suspension".  For the winter I ride slightly slimmer tires which are studded.  If you have to deal with ice, studs are mandatory, and 3.6-4" tires cut through soft snow allowing the studs to hook up with rocks or ice when riding over soft snow.  Still super low PSI though.

In the pic below, I'm riding in 6" of fresh powder on top of 2-3 of sort of crusty stuff.

Once we got some warm weather though... things cleared up and the sunny spots became snow free - cold spots became just 2-4" thick ice or corn snow so hard you go over the top of it.  Below, is a view from a hill I love to climb in my home town.  This view is great, because of many memories, but also because I know that about 3-400 feet below is one of the first wild brook trout streams I ever fished, and off to the right is the second or third :)

That far bank (above) has resulted in many a nice brookie as well as a few surprising fish - like pickerel and an occasional perch and lots of dace and fall fish.

That little plunge is pretty new, maybe 10 years old.  the pool above and below it have yielded brookies over the years.  It's a nice shady section with the hemlocks, and while it was a fraction of this flow last september, and I do mean a fraction... it still supported fish.

Well - hope I can get more frequent again here.  Have a super week!