You first need a place to fish. Ponds are mostly iced over, and if they aren't, you can assume that fishing isn't allowed for a few more weeks according to the Fish and Game folks.
There was one of those Spring days creeping up in the forecast and the Clearwater gang scheduled a little get together on a local lake. The lake was open to fishing year-round and it also happened to be partially free of ice. This called for a fly rod, a kayak and some good luck.
We all met in the parking lot at the lake and geared up. There was this guy I had met before at one of our fly tying events. I had fished with his dad in the past year and just couldn't remember his name. Everyone that was there participated in that internet forum and many had "handles" that they went by. Flygal was there, as was Split Tail. This guy was Northern Stylez on the forum, but I had to reintroduce myself (I'm still bad with names).
It turned out that Jason and I had shaken hands three or four times. He had brought his inflatable kayak and we got to chatting as we readied our boats.
The day was crappy. The ice was moving on the lake and at one point closed in behind me. I had to paddle through it in my kayak. I don't think anyone caught fish and we all froze our asses off. At some point, Jason's inflatable boat was looking very deflated. I'm not sure if it was the cold water, or if he put a hole in the boat by hitting the ice, but our day wrapped up fairly quickly.
Aside from "meeting" Jason that day, I'll always remember helping Nome get out of her neoprene waders. She had either borrow them, or inherited them. They were boot foot, neoprene waders that weren't cut for her. They were big, except for the ankles. She ended up grabbing the "Oh Shit" handle of a mini-van while two of us grabbed her boots and pulled. She ended up stretched out over the ground with those waders stuck on to her feet.
***** ***** *****
Fishing with Jason in Long Island Sound.
Jason will probably tell you that he caught the fish in the above picture, but it was in fact my stripah. I was on the front of the boat and he was able to land the fish for me. I'm fairly certain that all the other fish that day were caught by Jason.
That's me with a sea-run brown trout. Jason decided it was a good day to go fish the Mousam. It might have been 12 degrees and my hands are still numb.