DSC00131I was on that one more cast thing. I didn’t want it to end, but I was late. My hot pink boy band watch, purchased from Walgreen’s for $1.49, took the one arm plunge in the river. The digital  face was obscured by condensation. I couldn’t read the time. I’ll go with that.

Last week was my week off. The rain days were spent on a scaffolding filling gaps with foam to deter the bats from entering my house this summer. The nice days were spent in one of the many gardens we have created here at the Ponderosa. I love working outside in the spring. Dirt has a redeeming quality that is difficult to put into words so I won’t try. At 3;30, after the last of the netting on my blueberry patch was mended I decided I would take a break and head east to the Rush River to check conditions and maybe throw a few casts. The river was in perfect shape

The Last Reminder

The Last Reminder

Yesterday was Opening Day of Trout Season in Wisconsin. This opening day has taken a back seat to the other opening day. In the late 90’s when the Early Trout Season (first Saturday in  March) was put into place by the DNR, years of tradition changed in the state. Many however still consider this Opener to be the Big Kahuna. For me there is still meaning in the day but since we have been fishing for the last two months the impact is less important. Tradition however, always seems to draws me back into the fold. I just need to be there, on the river, to see the sights and hear the sounds of this important day.

The Ellsworth Rod and Gun Club was packed. The opening day fishing tournament was in full swing. Although I did not stop this year, anglers were everywhere. The local paper will have the results of the largest fish contest and I will try and remember to pass that along to you. As I headed north, I decided to stop at the 570th bridge no matter how many cars were there. This crossing has always been known to me as Pig Farm.  I figured by 4pm the first light anglers would be tired and heading to the pub or the campfire or the club.  There were 11 cars at the bridge. Word from a few tailgaters was the early morning bite was strong but the catching had tailed off by 2 pm. They let me know that catching might be a bit tough. For me the catching was less important than the casting and remembering and participating. I had no expectations, especially after hearing that “It was packed with cars in the morning” from one angler. What, more than 11 cars?

DSC00130I slotted myself between a father and son dangling worms and a pack of youngsters upstream who had resorted to throwing rocks and pushing each other in the stream. I smiled and knew the tradition would continue. On my third cast, I hooked a fish. When I looked up there was a small audience. As  quickly released the trout I heard a sigh from one of the boys. I let him know that the trout was too small to keep. The rock throwing and jostling stopped and everyone was back to fishing. For the next 3 hour I slowly worked my way up stream picking off a fish here and there. It was good, and just what the doctor ordered. I saw no rising fish. My hopes were that the gray caddis might make their appearance in the sunny conditions. I believe, they are still yet to come. Better late than never. By 8 pm the above, “one more cast” fish above came to hand. It was a perfect specimen, and one that I could take a photo of to document the outing. It had been a good 3 hour tour with a number of nice fish landed.  4 cars were left parked along the road when I drove away. Must of been the late night mousing crew. I remembered.