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.

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 22, 2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 22, 2014

Open water slowly spread as the ice sheet gave way, with no help from the sun, but the clock was ticking and the phone was ringing and the start of our fishing season was on the line.

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 23, 2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 23, 2014

With two days remaining before the anglers arrived, a morning breeze kicked up and the ice began to move. A few geese settled in around 9:00, noisily declaring the return of spring, and before noon a cacophony erupted with the return of our resident male loon.

Two Hours After Ice Out

Two Hours After Ice Out

Twenty-four hours of strong winds gusting to gale-force cleared ice from the main body of the lake and broke up the large sheets that floated out from the coves, leaving no doubt there would be fishing on Saturday. The camps, however, put up their usual fights but creativity and long days won out and by dinner-time Friday they were warm and full of excited anglers.

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 26,2014

Fish in a Barrel Pond, April 26,2014

Rise of a Trout

Rise of a Trout

The longest, hardest week of the year is over and the fly fishers of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society have returned, as if winter never happened. So, what advice does Quill Gordon have for those hardy early-season anglers?

Shut Up and Fish

Shut Up and Fish

Here we go again!

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

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8 thoughts on “Here We Go Again

  1. I always look forward to the opening every year of your lake. I’m just glad I don’t have to prepare for it like you do Quill. Have an eventful season.

    • No matter how I prepare in the fall, there are always surprises in spring! You’d think after all this time it would be easier …

      An uneventful season would mean something had gone horribly wrong!

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictorial countdown with us readers. Sure a beautiful place to be. Hope you and all the others at Neverwas Nonsuch Angling Society have a great season.

    • It’s amazing how this place comes back to life every year. People ask me in March when the ice will go and they think I’m joking when I tell them “some time in the last two days before opening.”

      And best wishes for a good season to you!

  3. It’s astonishing to see that progression of photos every year and how quickly the ice disappears. I swear you have a giant bunsen burner under the lake somewhere to speed things up for opening day.

    • As this year’s pictures show, the old giant bunsen burner in the sky wasn’t exactly working hard last week. I have a series of photos of ice-out for each of the last eight years; only once has it gone sooner than three days before opening. If nothing else, I have half a dozen aluminum boats that make dandy ice breakers when fully loaded. It was noisy as hell the one time we had to do it but there is something really sad about a bunch of anglers standing on shore with 200 yards of ice between them and open water.

  4. If there ever was such a thing a “perfectly timed” coincidence preparatory to a major event, this was it. At long last the question of “Will the ice be off the lake by Saturday?” is history. Quite exciting reading – oh the suspense! Wonder what those trout are doing under the ice all winter long? Next season, I expect you to don scuba gear and give us a report on that. 😉 Besides, Quill, it seems as if you might be looking for something else to do during that long winter.

  5. Come on up and I’ll let you see for yourself what the trout do under the ice. I thought for a second you wrote “Don’s scuba gear” and tighty-whities came to mind.

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