Saturday, March 3, 2012

Early Season Vertical Jigging Walleyes & Striper Hybrids: Slow Passes Over Drop-Offs, Thought of Mild Winter on Salmon River

So two posts in one day isn't too much after all. Thought I would put a picture of my son with a Lake Hopatcong walleye, actually from October, to grace my word rambling since quite a few are being caught vertical jigged now--hybrids too. But with the wind forecasted for this afternoon, drifts wouldn't be very good, as slow passes over the point drop offs are what you need.

That's why I reluctantly--still reluctant!--have cancelled on the Pequest today. Fly casting in 30-mph wind is annoying at the least. This despite my hunch that these winds won't happen. Maybe 10, 15 mph. But I just don't trust my intuition enough to go ahead and do it against what the weather forecasters are posting. I can't know I'm right. I can't know they are, of course. But some probability exists that ferocious winds will churn through the little Pequest valley, and I don't want to be there in that, not when we can probably go either Saturday or Sunday next weekend.

We better. I've had it in mind to fish the Pequest since December. I'm kicking myself. 

One Saturday back around the first of the year was calm 65 degrees. There I was walking the dog late in the afternoon when I realized what an ass I was for not having gone. I hadn't even recognized the possibility until that late in the day.

This winter was surely a great one for Salmon River steelhead drift boat anglers, fly rodders and noodle rodders alike. Joe at Steelhead Lodge told me they normally have 20 feet of snow by sometime in February. Meanwhile, he has guests throughout the winter, going downriver to fish eight-hour stints at zero degrees. Yes, of course these boats have propane heaters, most of the heat whisked away by breezes. That fishing is so hardcore--it seems easy to ice fish by comparison because hardwater is a stable environment that allows you to manage better in general--that even I balk at ever doing it, even though I used to clam for a living (and most of all adventure), daily, treading in wetsuits brine as cold as 29 degrees with wind chills below zero. 

Anyhow, I wonder how much snow is up there this winter.

P.S. It's almost 2:00 pm and guess what? Yup, the wind is 10 mph, and now forecasted to be 15-20 mph. I bet it never sustains itself over 15 and should I have been a weather forecaster? NO! Because the training in all the models in rooms and routines sealed off from--weather--would have ruined my intuition. And you can't get a job by intuition.

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