Icy River Winter

Laying about in in the depths of a hundred and one fever I have the leisure of considering all manner of things. In and out of the void topics both meaningful and mundane surge and recede. Did I reply to that email? I wonder if the ice dams on the roof will be a problem? How long before the streams flow free again?

Unlike much of the west, our eastern winter has been wet and frigid. Four foot drifts guard the banks of the driveway. The stop sign at the end of the street has been consumed by the plow's drift. It's increasingly difficult to find places to put the new snow which arrives, a few inches at a time, every other day or so.

While I still whine about the weather, mutterings about the weight of the season are so common as to be meaningless. So much has already said about the endless cold days that there are few words worth listening to. I do it as much out of habit as anything else.

The day before I slipped into the depths of this illness, flu brought home by my youngest son, I crossed the bridge at the Halfway River. The forest floor and the river's surface were a contiguous plane of white. I haven't seen the river locked that solid since, well, I don't think I've ever seen it like this.

None of these small streams fish well in the winter anymore. Sure you can get to them early, December can still produce, but by sometime in January you're left waiting until the snow and ice disappear. I still walk them from time to time to find some comfort in the loss and remind myself of the existence of this thing that lurks but I no longer keep gear in the car for those "just in case" moments. They just don't come.

I've taken to sitting at the tying bench which seems like the reason for winter in the first place. I used to be one of those tyers who methodically filled all the empty slots in the boxes but I've gotten lazy, or perhaps smarter, and now tie only the dozen or so patterns that I like to fish. I filled a small cup with enough patterns to get the season started though there are likely some that I've forgotten. Time on the water will remind me.

The fever is gone now and mundane matters beckon. Water is dripping inside the frame of the dining room window. The curtain drain by the garage is clogged with ice and water is running under the door. The gas delivery guy, after stepping from his truck into the snowbanks, bitched about the driveway not being cleared wide enough. I wish he'd shut the hell up. It's winter and I ain't been fishing in quite some time.