Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knowing when to Stop

A buddy of mine sent me an email about fishing this weekend. I decided to take him up on it and literally as I was looking at the water levels report he called me. The river was up higher than normal but not too bad. We planned the logistics and decided to meet the next morning. After I hung up I checked the weather report. There was a 30% chance of rain and it was going to be cold. Not very attractive conditions. I still woke up the next morning looking forward to getting on the river. I gathered my things and as I got in my car I noticed the temp read 46 degrees. That's not very cold.

As I headed towards the river I noticed dark clouds along the horizon. The temperature seemed to drop every 5 min. I pulled into a gas station not even a mile from the river, the temp was now 41 degrees and a steady sprinkle had started. When I met my friend and started gearing up the rain increased and the river level was a lot higher than I expected. We tried to make the best of it. I watched the wildlife and checked out the fall foliage. I went to take a picture and the low battery alert flashed on my camera and the display went black. I worked sections that I knew held fish. All the time watching water levels around certain rocks to give me a gauge to tell if the water is rising. The rain seemed to get worse whenever I headed up stream. Whenever the fishing isn't very good you always seems to notice things that wouldn't bother you other wise. My hands felt numb from stripping wet line. My jacket really wasn't water proof and the top layer was soaked. I started to feel a over all chill which I hate. I tried to wade and just keep casting to keep myself warm. Whenever a breeze hit me it made it more difficult to forget the cold.

In the middle of thinking about how miserable I was and tying on another fly I dropped my rod in the water. That's when I knew the cold was making it hard for me to concentrate. I watched my rod sink and at first I expected it to stop. Then a flash of what really was going on hit me. The water was about 2ft deeper than it normally was and if I didn't grab the rod soon I would probably have to get my torso wet to get it. I jerked my arm in the water and snatched the rod without lifting up my jacket sleeve. Now I had a soaked cold arm to go with the rest of me. That was it, I told my friend I was calling it a day. In the past I would have just fought through it and made myself miserable all day. When I got in the car it started to rain harder. I turned on the heater and noticed 40degrees on the temp gauge, I was happy I left. It could be a sign of getting old but I'm happy that I'm learning when to pack it in, instead of torturing myself.


  1. Pretty good reason to call it quits, As I get older I too feel like I feel the elements a bit more taking away from the concentration.
    Another good reason to stop is when things are going so darn well that you hate to leave on a worse note, leaving while they're biting. Thats knowing when to stop.
    good read Kev!

  2. Thanks for having me along despite the awful conditions. Yeah, I hung around for another hour or so. I went upstream and then followed the left channel like you recommended and even crossed over to the main river. My "personal insulation" is thicker so it just took a bit longer for the wet and cold to set in but eventually it did.

    I'll give it another try when the water is down and the sun is up!