Time to Get Moving

March 22, 2010 by  

By Nick Simonson

It was hard to hear the beep of the cash register as I stood in line with the few items that my wife requested I pick up from the grocery store. Behind me, a four-year old girl screamed bloody murder each time her mother pried the candy bar from her hands and placed it back on the shelf. While the group ahead of me struggled with the credit card reader and the lady behind me tried to drag the kicking, screaming ball of blonde fury across the supermarket floor, I could only stare out into the sunshine at the first day of spring and regret that I had left my ear protection in my shooting vest. When my turn came up, I nodded and said good morning to the cashier, zipped my card through the scanner, bagged my things and headed with all due haste out of the store and into the sunshine.

simmyAs if on cue, the doors sealed shut behind me and I heard a new cacophony, which rivaled the volume of the screaming child but was a hundred times more pleasant to the ear. Taking a few steps into the store’s parking lot, I looked up into the crisp blue sky and squinted against the yellow-white beams of the morning sun. Thousands of Canada geese streamed over the southern horizon. Their joyful honking heralded winter’s demise and the turning of the season. I stood there and watched the birds cross a good majority of the sky before the hum of an engine caught my ear. I looked behind me and a lady in a Pontiac gave me a dirty look and mouthed something along the lines of “get moving, kid.”
She was right; it was indeed time to get moving. Here I am on spring’s doorstep, and I’m still way behind on all those winter projects I thought I’d have done by now. I could blame the two weeks in February I spent watching Olympic curling on the DVR after work each night. It could be because the late-season ice fishing trips were so successful that recent weekends were actually spent fishing instead of just dreaming about it. Whatever excuses I can come up with are no justification for an empty fly box, unfinished lures and a tacklebox that is as bare as it was at the end of last summer.
I chased the geese north through town toward my house and thought of all the things I still needed to get done to get ready for spring fishing which will probably start next week, if all goes well back home. So much to do, so little time.
I’m about halfway through a set of 15 muskie spinners, and I’m surprised I was even able to pull away from my desk with the amount of epoxy I spilled on my hands in the last few days. Though that opener is still three months away, the big shiny blades and flashy skirts have drawn my attention, though other angling opportunities are much closer on the calendar.

With the never-closed fishing season in North Dakota, a return trip home in the coming weeks for staging walleye will coincide with my wife’s shopping trip. Gunnar and I will wade the waters of our home river (if they go down in time), in search of those golden fish making their first foray toward one of the many dams. Upon preparing for the upcoming trip, I learned that last season left me with a shortage of 1/8-ounce jigs and curly-tailed grubs. But such a problem is an easy fix for an experienced online tackle shopper like myself.

Flowing water opportunities aren’t the only chance at early season fishing. With winter success on multiple new panfish lakes, and a predicted early-ice out throughout Minnesota this year, my friends and I are set for some spring trips after slab crappies. The problem is, more than half of the jig heads I have ordered are missing their dressing; and the marabou, krystal flash and chenille will be flying in the coming weeks as I struggle to catch up to this spring’s frantic pace.

Finally, joining the mounting reminders of the projects that are ahead of me, my fly boxes are in a sorry state of empty. Excluding a box full of glo bugs for steelhead, I’m short on stream trout patterns. The various flows on the north shore and outings on a local stream for stocked browns and rainbows in April require variations of many popular patterns – PTNs, GRHEs, BWOs, EHCs and an alphabet soup of other flies. That’s not to mention my plans to get my wife hooked on trout fishing. I’ve ordered her a small spinning rod for the stream fish and tied some small jigs to look like woolly buggers, nymphs and muddlers for her to try.

I finished this mental list as I parked in the driveway, closed the door to my truck and took the back steps in a single bound. I handed my wife the bag full of baking ingredients and she handed me a sample of the first round of cookies she had baked while I was out.

“Do you want some milk with that,” she asked.

I kissed her cheek, chewed a couple times and stated through bits of cookie, “Nah…I gotta get moving,” and bolted up the stairs to my desk, because the spring – like the northbound geese or a lady in a Pontiac searching for a parking spot – waits for no one…in our outdoors.


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