Monday, March 8, 2010

What Really Counts

It amazes how some people have managed to turn 'a day late and a dollar short', into an art form.

It seems that no matter what they set out to do – they come back with a complaint that they were too early or too late or that someone or something had beat them to the punch. Or perhaps if they had other equipment things would have been better.

My own experience is that when things look like there stacked against you, stop, take a look around and you'll probably see something unexpected waiting for you.

The other day I went to one of my favorite pike fishing spots and found; A) the early melt had set in and the river was flooded with a layer of water. B) the Coast Guard had posted red marker cones across the river as a caution against any further travel, and C) the fish were definitely not interested in any bait, spoon or jig that I dropped down the hole.

It could have bleak but I looked around and I saw, perched on a fallen tree near the shore, a beautiful Bald Eagle. I took the binoculars from my tackle bag and spent the better part of an hour watching the big bird hunt along the shoreline.

Net gain? The rare opportunity to watch one of the most spectacular birds in Canadian forests. Net loss? Non.

After two days of planning, the morning arrived that I packed my gear, made a thermos of coffee and and couple of sandwiches, and headed out to a small lake a couple of miles from my home. On the trail in I met up with an acquaintance who told me that the trout were not biting at all and that as far as he was concerned the lake was fished out to boot. He pointed out that I would be crazy to waste the energy hiking in.

I went in - and sure enough no trout. But I did notice that my friend had tossed a bullhead onto the ice. Probably disgusted because that was the only thing that he pulled out of the lake. Anyways, I changed my tackle for something lighter and spent the better part of the afternoon filling a bucket with mud pouts.

Net gain? Breaded and deep fried, I treated myself and my friends to a great meal. Did I regret hiking into that lake? No. It turned out to be one of the best days I've spent in the outdoors. Net loss? None