Thursday, February 14, 2013

Zane Grey and Ernest Hemingway on Fishing: Both Pioneered Big Game Saltwater. Dubious Ice Fishing Conditions in North Jersey

Felt like early spring. I pretty much gave up hope for further ice fishing once the temperatures shot into the 60's a few days after we had ice fished Hopatcong. Years of experience gives me a sense of what's likely, but ice anglers have got out on lakes in North Jersey this past week. The Round Valley Pond remains frozen over with unsafe ice and I guess the Knee Deep Derby that is scheduled for Lake Hopatcong Sunday will get by on the skin of the teeth. Fifty degree temperatures likely tomorrow, temperatures are forecast to plummet to the mid teens overnight and rise to only about 30 on Saturday. 

That's enough to firm up what's there perhaps, but with the snow melt it could be dangerous. A layer of water usually gets between the ice and the false snow ice on top of it, which insulates. In that case, nothing is added to the ice thickness; it melts slightly. All that would firm up is the false layer on top.

With the snow melt, the tulip pokes in the yard are shooting up and my sense is that we probably won't get another prolonged deep freeze and temperatures have slightly begun to moderate.

Read most of the introduction to Zane Grey on Fishing in the car with my line out, second time I'm reading this book. I love his writing. Personally, his covey of young women, who he took along on exotic fishing trips to the exclusion of his wife, is questionable to me. He certainly could afford to raise eyebrows.

Between Grey and Hemingway, those were times less than only a century ago, yet of virgin adventures. The sea had hardly been penetrated for marlin, tuna, and many other species that these two men pioneered for sport angling. And both of them wrote like the devil, Grey a lot more than Hemingway. In the end, Grey published 89 books. Many say his best books are on fishing because they're grounded in realism, whereas the Westerns go over the top. But don't fail to credit the man. His novel Riders of the Purple Sage is the seminal work of the Westerns genre.

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