I think it's finally time to hang up the long rods for the season, get out the shorties, and fire up the ice auger. Winter's arrival has the lakes pinging from the formation of new ice, sounds reminiscent of the Hunt For Red October. Fishing villages are starting to sprout up as each ice house fights to get set up on their honey hole. It's about that time to hit the ice and do a little harvesting.
While the 2011 fly fishing season included some memorable moments and fantastic adventures, most notably my excursion to Beaver Island, it was also matched with much regret. This past season has probably marked my fewest number of days on the water, which is not something that I am proud to report. High flows early on in the season, as well as domestic issues, kept me off the river for much of the year. While I will never be one to shirk my responsibilities as parent and denigrate the role, my priorities have recognizably focused on duties and activities other than fishing. I am hoping for resolve over the winter, in hopes that the situation will improve. I will will also make a better effort to get my kids involved in fly fishing this next year. At ages 3 and 7, hopefully, under my guidance and with a little help from dad, my kids will be able to land their first fish on a fly next season. In addition, they might be lacking the dexterity and maturity to master the skills needed behind the vise, but I will also strive to expose my kids more to the world of fly tying this winter, in efforts that they begin to embrace fly fishing culture. I've already got two great little helpers who are more than enthusiastic about fish and dad's interest in fly fishing. It's been long overdue to have them take the next step forward.
The sun sets on yet another season. I can't wait to get my boots wet in 2012.