Posts Tagged With: ice out

Here We Go Again

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 20, 2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 20, 2014

An entire winter’s worth of snow slowly condensed into a thick layer of ice, sitting on lake ice that formed in December. With less than a week before Opening Day, there was nothing to be done about the ice but hope it would go out in time. Meanwhile, there were camps to prepare, repair, and otherwise make ready for the upcoming season.

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April  21, 2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 21, 2014

Woodland creatures were evicted, floors were swept, and beds were made, as if there were no ice at all (other than in the usual low spots in water lines) and, while anxious anglers left messages asking about the lake, cussing and banging gave way to sighs of relief at the sound of trickling faucets. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Flashback Friday: Fly Fishing Time

south bend

 

Weeks away? More like days. Opening Day at Fish in a Barrel Pond is next weekend, provided the ice goes off the pond and I can get the camps up and running again (See Quill Gordon and The Nonesuch Mountain Howler). Every day I find a string of messages from angst-filled anglers asking about the ice and if they will be able to fish in a week but I have yet to hear someone (other than my supervisor) ask if the faucets flow and toilets flush or if the woodland creatures have been evicted from beneath the beds. My head is sore from knocking on wood but every year the ice goes out and the camps open on time.

The ad above appeared in the April 1948 issue of Outdoorsman magazine. From the first trout to the last fightin’ bass, South Bend was there to make your sport complete. With split bamboo rods starting at $16 and nifty automatic reels for $10, an angler could still splurge on a nice double taper line and be fishing for $35! It is a virtual certainty that at some point in the season someone is going to show me a new rod that cost what I make in a month and tell me “you get what you pay for.” It’s also a good bet that same guy will be the one who asks who to speak to about the fishing around here.

Today’s dollar is a different animal than the dollar of 1948, and today’s anglers are different, too. Or are they?

masland

The weather on Opening Day can be as unpredictable as the fishing but C.H. Masland & Sons had every angle and angler covered in 1948. Their handy “opening day check list” consisted entirely of clothing items from their catalog, for all kinds of weather, including a nylon rain cape, knee-length for the same price as a South Bend reel.

One of the best things about C.H. Masland ads from the late 1940s was the cartoon at the top of each one. Illustrator Tom Rost (1909-2004) began his series of “Opening Day” hunting and fishing cartoons while at the Milwaukee Journal in the late 1930s, after a stint as an artist with the Civilian Conservation Corps (two of his watercolors were purchased by Eleanor Roosevelt as a Christmas gift to FDR in 1937). He enjoyed a long association with Field & Stream and other wildlife magazines and had a very successful career as an illustrator and artist.

I just can’t imagine where he ever came up with the things he included in those Opening Day cartoons.

Opening Day 1948

Opening Day 1948

Opening Day 1947

All of us at The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond wish everyone out there the most successful of Opening Days, no matter the weather or the cost of their rod. Of course, the definition of “successful” will vary from angler to angler; Quill Gordon will be happy if the toilets flush.

 

 

Categories: Flashback Fridays, Fly Fishing, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Hear the Fishing’s Been Pretty Good

Winter’s stark grays softened beneath a gauzy green veil as spring returned to the slopes of Nonesuch Mountain. A last toast to winter drained the dregs of that bitter keg so I took up the cup of spring with a nod to the transition of season, acknowledging an important milestone along our planet’s annual journey around the sun. I lifted the vernal chalice to my lips as for a kiss, and imbibed the essence of the season with intemperate relish as spring flowed like syrup, at its own leisurely pace.

Another cup appeared, brimming with the prospect of the return of anglers to Fish in a Barrel Pond, top shelf stuff, and you know I simply couldn’t resist. But I took a wide stance and held onto my hat as I quaffed because, Dear Readers, drinking from that vessel is like drinking from a damn fire hose.

ice monday

Monday, April 22

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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, Loons, nature, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Ice Out!

Fish in a Barrel Pond, March 22, 2012, 6:30 p.m.:

Fish in a Barrel Pond, March 23, 2012, 6:30 a.m.:

An early riser:

 

Categories: nature, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Going, Going, Gone

The ice is gone and, suddenly, it is almost as if this past winter never happened.

April 27, 2011 10:30 a.m.

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Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, nature | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Yesterday There Was Snow, Today There Are Flowers

Winter is dead. Oh, sure, there will be a few snow squalls and maybe even a storm in the next three or four weeks but a few sickly patches of rotten snow are all that remain of the 10+ feet that fell over the course of the past seven months (some of those patches are still three feet thick). The edges are pulling back and the coltsfoot have begun to bloom in the bare spots along the roads.

Coltsfoot sends up leafless flower stalks as soon as the snow retreats. Early bees and other insects find coltsfoot a welcome source of nectar and within a few days the coltsfoot will be thoroughly pollenated and their bright yellow blooms will go to seed, looking like tiny dandelion heads. By June the leaves will be up, some a foot across, gathering energy for next April’s blooms. They may not be much to look at but the blooming of the coltsfoot is one of the surest signs of spring in these parts.

The members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society are a curious bunch and I get at least one phone call a day from this member or that, asking me when the ice will go out. I’ve watched a lot of ice in my time and I do my best to give them the benefit of my vast experience, telling them that if I could predict that sort of thing I sure as heck wouldn’t be doing what I do, which lately has involved a lot of counting Band-Aids™ and rolls of paper towels.

The edges of Fish in a Barrel Pond have begun to melt and holes are opening up. Only three or four inches of lake ice remain, beneath what is left of this winter’s snow, and it is going fast. It better go fast; I’ve got 20 people showing up in two weeks and they are going to be eager to fish.

Fish in a Barrel Pond April 14, 2011

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, nature | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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