You know what this means? No, not that I have caught so many fish, I am lounging about in a euphoric stupor resting and exercising my artistic inclinations. Nope, it is below freezing air temp with water temp 35 degrees and with an East wind pulsing down the Gorge. The Compline running line is trashing my fingers and the river right position is playing poorly against the river right wind. I am not that good anyway, but once I could not feel my fingertips the stripping of the running line, the pinching of the running line and the laser quality of the line played hell on my fingers enough that even though I thought they were frozen, I managed to stay in touch with my nerve endings…ouch! I swung easy and pulled my bottom hand in just so, but I was muddling one cast after another with only a few out a respectable distance. Wasn’t happening. River speed a touch too fast.

All that effort to get into my gear and now the trudge back and the effort to remove the gear. I long ago sprung for Simms Waders and have always touted that purchase as one of the single best investments I have ever made in my fly fishing life. But, even they are hard to remove if so many layers are worn beneath and your fingers cease to function. Ugh. I have weathered through several respiratory setbacks this winter and I finally decided to venture forth against my better judgment. Hmm, no whining allowed…the wind was the culprit…it can only get better. Oh, for those with drift boats, be careful taking out at Dabney. Several rigs stuck in sand at take out. Drift boats need to be winched or dragged up to firm ground to even get near a trailer.