New Years Day 2012 - a solo trip on the fly

I have never been that much of a party person. Similarly, I have never been a big New Years fan. For some reason, I just don't see the purpose of it. All of the same problems that existed on the last day of previous year, will exist on the first day of the new year. It's not as if your slate is wiped clean and you get a re-do. For the most part, I see New Years as another reason to have a big party (see the first sentence). (As I reread this I sound like more of a pesimist than I really am)

With that rant/explanation/precursor out of the way - I decided that it would be a perfect day to fish as most of the world would be recovering from the previous nights festivities and I would have the entire river to myself and for the most part, I was right.

White River 270 Fly Rod - 9' 8wt with a large arbor reel
What I had not planned on, were the howling winds that were gusting to nearly 50mph. Normally this wouldn't be that much of an issue to me, but this time it was definitely putting a kink in my goals. Last week, thanks to some generous gift cards from my family, I bought a brand spanking new fly set up that I really wanted to try out. I have heard the old adage, Murphy's Law if you will, that says, "if you bring a fly rod, the wind will blow." Well, the first day of this 2012 sure confirmed that theory!

Not being one to let things get in the way of my plans, I decided to press on anyways. The little guy's Grandma and Great-aunt were coming over to keep him and Mom company so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity in spite of the less than favorable conditions. I grabbed the waders, fly box, the new 8wt and bravely went out into the tundra.

The wind was fierce, the air was cold, and it even started to flurry a bit. As I left my warm and cozy truck to head off into the wilderness, I was almost instantly reminded that though I was the only person out there, I was not alone. A small group of deer stopped in their tracks to see what I was doing as I made my way down one of many trails they had probably created. I, too, stopped to watch them, watch me. After a minute, they calmly continued on their way as I did too. It gave me hope that the animal world was alive and perhaps even the scaled and gill bearing vertebrates would be as well. That glimmer of hope was short lived as an angry wind howled through the woods and finished what a beaver had started as a massive tree creaked and cracked it's way to the forest floor not more than twenty feet from me. It was a close call but strangely, not my first in those particular woods.

The scenery can be amazing just outside of Chicago
As the morning rolled on and the afternoon came, the winds and cold did as well. The temperature continued to drop and I continued to explore. I got some fishing in, but with the exception of one hook up that quickly broke off, fishing wasn't very productive. I did learn a LOT about fly casting, though which really made me a lot more confident about this new found obsession of mine. The more I get out and do it, the more I am enjoying it. I still haven't been able to figure out why, but one day I will. When I do, I will find a way to write a long story about it and some how justify it all in my mind like I did with this latest outing. If I didn't enjoy this whole blogging thing so much, this story probably would have read something like this - Ehh..I got the skunk. It was too cold and windy. 


  1. Regardless of the weather conditions or the non- cooperative fish it still sounds like a great way to spend the first day of the new year. I can pretty much assure you that those folks at home laying in bed with an aching head from the night before didn't enjoy their New Years nearly as much as yourself!

  2. Good job Nick, I look forward to new adventures in 2012.

  3. The day before was supposed to be sunny and 47, which it wasn't. After a 6 week absence from flowing water, I decided to get out. One fish cooperated. Nice end to the year.

    Nice set up. I know just the place for you to test that out on the Fox.

  4. @HPFF - It really was a great way to spend New Years. I havae fished that area dozens of times and this is the first that I really took time to explore it.

    @Howard - Thanks, buddy - same to you!

    @Ken - I was shocked to hear that you got out! You are almost starting to be as crazy as Mr. Minus. HA! I plan on exploiting your knowledge as soon as spring rolls around!

  5. Great way to start the new year, and a good reminder that sometimes the trip itself is the payoff

  6. Glad that there is another brave soul getting out in the winter. Journey On!! : )

  7. @Patrick - isn't that the truth!

    @RD - Not brave.....stubborn HAHA

  8. walt franklin1/06/2012 9:13 PM

    Found your post via mutual friend Ken G. Liked your account of a Day #1 fishing venture. I fly fished same day in New York. My blog post on rivertop rambles tells a short but similar story. Have a great fishing year.

  9. Hi Walt! Thanks for cruising on over and checking it out. I have added rivertoprambles.wordpress.com to the line up in my reading list!!

  10. Hey i might sound like an idiot for asking and you may have said this somewhere in your writing but where is this? If you dont wanna say thats fine but i just got here from alabama and even though its cold im starting to go through withdrawals. i gotta get some lines in the water.

    1. This was out at Isle a la cache in Romeoville

    2. Thank you very much. Keep the stories coming. These are awesome great work.


Let's hear it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search This Blog