Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 2014     In like a lion and out like a...... frozen lamb chop. I used to love winter. I was a card carrying, Currier and Ives sleighing, tobogganing fan of winter. I am old enough to remember driving up Route 413 from Newtown to Pineville and seeing nothing but snow fences and wanting to get out of the car and jump into the drifts they created. I loved to hop on the John Deere and plow the drive way.  Having lived in Hanover, NH, Chicago and Minneapolis, driving in the snow was someone elses problem and never mine.  Now, I hate winter and none more than the winter of 2013/14.  She was a cruel mutha. I am tired of being cold, tired of vacuuming salt off my carpets, having been deposited from the waffle soles of my winter shoes. Tired of every aspect of the season of misery. For sure living in South Africa for four years thinned my blood, but more than that, winter is just one more thing trying to separate me from my real passion- fishing.

In Minnesota they called it cabin fever, in the east they call it spring fever, but yesterday I finally succumbed to a disease that causes the other winter related maladies to bow down and pay homage...... Pyrexia Piscatore.  First, I lost control of my arms and legs while driving.  My SUV inexplicably catapulted down Highway 23 past Plymouth Michigan careening uncontrollably towards Dundee. I gained some semblance of consciousness just long enough to bring the car to a stop in front of two giant grappling grizzilies
.Great God of Jeremiah Johnson what was happening to me?   For a moment I thought I was dead because the place where I was could only be compared to Heaven. There were rods, reels, lures galore, tackle boxes, fishing shoes, fishing shirts, fishing gloves, fishing hats. St. Peter truly was a fishermen and he had welcomed me home.  Is this Heaven I asked a fellow feverish fisherman?  No, he said, "this is Cabela's". Rapala rippin raps, loud rattlers, shad raps and rattle traps were flying into my cart. People were running down the spinner bait aisle singing the angelic chant of Boo-YAH while I loaded  the cart with the official spinner bait of the former governor of California- the TERIMINATOR in both T-1 and T-2 editions. Pliers, check. Two Shimano Stradic C-14's check. Storm lures, Gulp, grub tails, minnows, smelt, can you here me Mr. Walleye........ I am bringing down the thunder! Gloves and t-shirts rated to SPF-50, a shirt with red fish on it, fishing shorts, fishing line in various tests. Fishing related items were spilling out the oversized green cart. Oh yes, did I forget to mention the machete?  It was true madness.

By the time I got to the check out line I was babbling to the cha-ching of the cash register. I could smell the Adirondack air. I could taste the salt of the flats. I could feel the tap tap of the walleye bite, and the hear the screaming reel fighting an angry northern pike.  If only for one hour of shopping madness, winter had been defeated.  The calendar says it will be April this week. In the southeastern counties of Pennsylvania fisherman stood shoulder to shoulder snagging stocked trout.  I bought my fishing license yesterday. Hallelujah Winter is Dead!

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