Leaden Skies, Mist Wraiths and Cold Water

Mist Wraiths shadow the Catskills: Is it nearly May?

The sun is shining through my back window, but it is 38 degrees here in Crooked Eddy. The thermometer won’t have far to climb, with today’s high forecast at 43. I think back, to an April afternoon a year ago, and dream…

April 26, 2021: the afternoon soared to eighty degrees and the Hendricksons brought a few big boys out to play. The brownie putting that beautiful arch in my Thomas & Thomas bamboo topped five pounds! Oh, for the power to turn back the calendar!

To be sure, there is no going back except in memory. On the twenty-sixth of April, 2022 I waded beneath those leaden skies with the mist wraiths watching. There was no hatch, just a small handful of assorted mayflies. The river failed to warm past the forties, and began to rise from the morning’s rain. As a final tease, the afternoon was beautifully calm, perfect for casting, had there been anything to cast to.

The day before I witnessed the first hatch of Hendricksons, the big mayflies fluttering on the rapid currents and blown about by the gusty winds for three quarters of an hour. One trout rose twice, and then the surface was silent. Monday was the second and last seventy-degree day of the week. The river warmed to 52 degrees, enough for the flies to awaken, insufficient for the trout to partake.

The warmer days came on the heels of strong south winds, so my boat is yet to drift along the Delaware. I did have to devote Monday morning to an unexpected repair, replacing the forward member that holds the trailer’s rollers. I recall the anticipation when I uncovered the boat in March, ready and willing to sally forth on the first sunny day. Floods, wind, rain and snow have kept me grounded for half of this fitful spring.

A few flies have sprung to life on the bench, though my boxes have long been filled past their capacities. Too many months of winter, with far too many frigid periods leaving very few days for fishing. I penned an article for the Fly Tyer’s Guild yesterday and tied a few of my Translucence Duns for photos. Their brethren are waiting for an opportunity to prove their mettle on some disdainful old brownie. My advanced case of winter brain caused me to miss my deadline. It may be time to consult Dr. Macallan and sit back with his counsel and watch Chasing The Taper one more time.

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