Monday, June 13, 2016

Fly-Fishing Central Wisconsin: Brook Trout on the Plover River

In my last post, I alluded to the ratio of drive time to stream time (DT:ST), and what my drive time limit would be for a finite amount of fishing. Once again, this past weekend, I pushed my own limits further than they have gone before, and found myself driving for an extended length, in both time and distance, in order to fly-fish on a far away body of water for a short period of time that many would find unacceptable. The original plan was simple - my brother-in-law, Alan, and I would meet up after work on Friday and drive up to his dad's hunting cabin in the middle of the woods, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Wisconsin. We'd be hauling Alan's side-by-side in the trailer behind us, and once we arrived, we would have two solid days of trout fishing and beer drinking, exploring the Plover River and getting into some fish. However, due to some family issues (that I don't find the need to go into on my fly-fishing blog), my arrangements changed to where Alan and I would have to drive separately because I would need to be back in St. Louis by the early afternoon on Sunday. My two days of fishing were cut in half, but even with that change in the DT:ST, the trip and the long hours of driving were well worth it.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chasing off the Sunday Scaries at Bennett Spring

What is the magic ratio of drive time to time on the stream that makes a trip worthwhile? Is a fishing trip with a ratio of less than 1:1 of drive:stream time worth it? How does one calculate the ratio accurately? Individual trips? Or can you collectively measure both drive and stream time over a period of time, say a month? Back in April, I pushed the ratio as far as it could go, and may have found my limit of how long I'm willing to drive for a relatively short day of fishing.

I crossed the St. Louis city line at 5:20 AM, and tried not think about the things I left behind at home, namely a sick dog with an ear infection, a stack of vinyl I'd bought the day before, and the warm bed I'd dragged myself out of mere minutes earlier. It was Sunday morning, and I was driving fast westbound on I-44, keeping a keen eye on the rear-view mirror for the state police, and the Sunday Scaries. My destination was Bennett Spring, and my target was rainbow trout. If everything went according to plan, I should be geared up and casting away by 8:00 in the morning, but that's only if the weekend didn't catch up to me before I got there.

Despite working a full day of work on Friday, my weekend kicked off on Thursday morning at 6:00 AM when I dropped Emily off at the airport for a weekend long bachelorette party in Mexico. Friday night resulted in midnight bowling and 2:00 AM pancakes. Saturday morning was Record Store Day, and I found myself standing in line at the Music Record Shop at 7:00 AM with a thermos full of coffee. By 8:00 the coffees turned to beers and they didn't seem to end that day. Saturday also included a Cardinals day game, a St. Louis Soccer Club night game, and boozy slushies in Soulard. It was a perfect storm of lack of spousal supervision or better judgment and an abundance of sunshine and day-drinking. In total, I was going on about 7 hours of total sleep for the weekend when I set course for Lebanon, fueled only by coffee and crappy energy drinks, but ready to throw caution and driving regulations to the wind and make my stand, officially kicking off the 2016 trout fishing season.

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