I hate to admit it, but I completely skipped Opening Day, even though I was entered in a fly fishing tournament. It was cold, the water was high, off color, wading was challenging, and I needed some rest.
My wife and I went to the pre-tournament meeting Friday night. I got my scorecards. We had a cocktail and some food. And then, we went to the Fly Fishing Film Tour movie, something I've been doing every year for a few years now. After the movie, it was cold and raining in Middlebury.
As we headed home, the temperatures dropped, the rain turned to snow, and the drive got pretty hairy. Luckily, we had brought the car with snow tires, and despite other cars being off the road, we managed to make it home. It took a while and I climbed into bed at midnight.
I woke up at noon. Got up for a while. Ate some lunch. Thought about fishing. And then, I went back to bed for a 2 hour nap.
That night, I went to our local Trout Unlimited banquet. Luckily, it was over early and I was back in bed by 9:30. Sunday morning, I was up by 8:00 and to Middlebury by 9:00. I fished, mostly in one spot, for the next couple hours. The final score was 2 expensive streamers lost, once Prince Nymph found, one possible strike, and no fish hooked.
For the fifth consecutive year, I was shut out in this tournament. But, I was far from alone. There were 16 total fish caught in 2 days by 93 fishermen. Only a couple people caught more than one fish, and I think they were all in the pro division.
The amateur division was won by a woman who caught a stunning brown trout - nearly 20" and very healthy looking. For that one fish, she won a very expensive fly rod.
This tournament is really all about getting together with other fly fishermen to start the season. Maybe I'll catch a fish one of these years, but maybe not. Maybe if I spent more hours on the water, I'd have better luck. But right now, taking care of my body in my fight against cancer comes first, and I needed rest over the weekend.
In the end, I won a few prizes at the raffle. I got some tippet material, some strike indicators, a Tacky Tube, and a hat. Plus, I got a nice fishing shirt for entering. And, I donated a couple hundred dollars to various fishing charities over the weekend,
The fishing will improve over the next few weeks. If the water is too cold or too high, ski season isn't over yet anyway.