Monday, October 8, 2012
Northern Pike on a Cold October Morning
Two more times that morning I would have similar experiences. All in tight to the cattails. All completely unexpected. All explosive and viscous. And, for whatever reasons, I could not hook or hang onto the fish. I would stop only to break ice from my guides that were impairing my ability to retrieve line, and to try to warm my hands. My back was aching from being hunched over, shivering...and I had burned two nasty, bleeding grooves into my right middle finger from gripping the line too tight as I stripped in line, cast after cast. My hand being too numb to feel the damage I was causing myself. Eventually I haul an errant cast deep into the cattails and break off my entire leader in the temper tantrum that ensues. But not before I hit Erin's fly rod with a sloppy back cast and break two inches off the end of her 7-weight. Oh, shit...my bad!
I tuck back into a sunny spot in the cattails and do my best to re-rig a new leader and fly. Relinquishing the lead to Erin, who has been following me down the weed line. Can you manage to still cast that without the tip? She nods and bombs a cast past me and dunks her fly right where I was hoping she would...and a pike attacks immediately! We are both too cold to properly celebrate so we take a quick photo of the pikes head peering out of the inky, smooth water and shiver and smile at each other. But I learn my place and let Erin take point. And I follow her...hand on the camera and pride hanging back on some random cattail stalk. And once the sun comes up we warm our hands and get some better photos. So, yeah...go team!