Saturday, March 14, 2009

Drunk on fishing

The wife went to Michigan a few weeks back for six days overlapping a weekend. She took baby girl with her. I couldn't take time off of the new job to watch the boy, so grandma and grandpa stepped in to take the boy. This all meant that I was free for an entire weekend of fishing trout in southeast Minnesota.

It was not projected to be a warm weekend, but we didn't care a whole lot. I got new, lightweight waders that are easier to move around in. I purchased a panther-martin-like spinner making kit and slapped several together.

Once again it was myself and Adam on this sojourn. I don't know exactly what a sojourn is, but it sounded good in the last sentence. We started hitting a favorite area of ours only a few hours away. My friend Brian, who is the most knowledgeable trout fisherman I have ever met, joined us for the first part of Saturday.

In the first creek we hit we must have encountered a hundred trout (that we're aware of.) We caught a nice 12 incher right off the bat caught on one of my custom spinners. That felt good. Then we spent the next couple hours wondering what the trout could possibly want. No more fish. It was still very cool to see so many trout in the bottom of pools and hiding in place you wouldn't think they could possibly hide. It was unreal. Sometimes when trout fishing I don't need to catch them to have an awesome time.

Adam got some great pics of Brian fly casting:

For lunch Brian fed us with venison polish sausages made from a deer he murdered in the fall. They were bitchin'. He also told us a very funny hunting story and we had a good time.

We then hit our special honey hole. The one place where I am certain I can go and catch a trout. Due to some special and possibly temporary geographic circumstances there exists a large hole that is stacked with trout. A few trips ago we caught thirteen out of the one hole. This time we only got six-or-so, but they were larger. I tied my personal best of fourteen inches. Brian got a couple on the fly. Despite his guides constantly icing up.

On the way out I was in a great deal of pain from my fingers, toes and ears feeling like they were actually freezing solid. I was in a great deal of pain. Adam thought for a minute he may have to carry me (I was being a little dramatic) But when we got into the sunlight and passed one more hole. So I took a few casts and caught one more, a rainbow:

On a tip from Brian we decided to stay in Saint Charles Saturday night so that in the morning we'd only have to drive an hour or so to get to our next destination.

When we got to town we stopped at the first motel we saw. It was a nice looking little place. The owners were on vacation. So we stopped at a gas station and I had the following conversation with the shy young lady behind the counter:

ME: Is there another motel in town?
HER: Well... there's the "Downtown Motel"
ME: Is it close?
HER: Yeah...
ME: What?
HER: Well, umm... uh...
ME: Is it a bad place?
HER: Well... I've just heard some things...
ME: Like what?
HER: Well, I'VE never stayed there myself...
ME: What did you hear?
HER: Well, umm....
ME: Is it dirty? Are there dead bodies?
HER: Um... I've never actually stayed there...
ME: Ok, what did you hear?
HER: Well maybe they don't take great care of it
ME: Ok. So it's just a little dirty?
HER: (Tiny little nod)

So with that recommendation we went and got a room at the Downtown Motel. It was not the greatest place, but it was perfect for two tired, dirty fishermen.

We ate dinner at Dels Cafe. It was freaking awesome. I had a beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy. One of the best meals I've had in a long time. Nutso good. Go there.

That night I won a competition of "See who can build the tallest structure with four sheets of toilet paper" Adam made a tee pee of sorts that stood 4 inches tall. My stack of triangles stood 4 1/4 inches and better resisted wind. After a quick game of Rapala catch (a daring game: first one to drop the rapala loses) we called it a night.

I popped up at 5:30 AM and harassed Adam until he woke. We hit Dels again for breakfast.

At 9:30 we got to the river. We were perhaps twenty minutes from Iowa at this point. I noticed that it was very cold. Painful cold. I found out later it was 5 degrees. I was seriously wondering if it was worth it. There was ice forming IN THE RIVER on rocks as well as ON THE LURE. I did not know that was possible. I hooked a twelve incher and landed a twelve incher.

Man, it was wicked cold. I ended up losing feeling in the tips to two toes for several days. I think that's frostnip.

At one o'clock we felt tired and weak and thought perhaps we should call it a day. So of course we drove back to the honey hole to catch a few more.

It was very cold in the dark valley that the honey hole lives in. Adam caught a nice trout though.

And here's one of Adam's masterfully painted custom spinners:

Come 4 o'clock, we were very tired and discombobulated. Drunk on fishing. Adam's eyes had glossed over and was having trouble enunciating his words. We were in rough shape. I felt OK at this point, but after driving the first hour home, I was ready to pass out. Adam, fresh off devouring a Rockstar, drove the last hour.

It seriously took us two days to recover. The Monday after the trip I was having trouble forming thoughts in my head. I was afraid my coworkers would think I was (even more of) an idiot. But it was worth it.