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 Post subject: February Vacation
PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 5:00 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3315
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
Another reason to be a public school teacher….February vacation! What should one do? We went to camp.

Grand Lake Stream in the winter...kind of what I think Barrow Alaska is like, only without the pleasant polar bear sightings. I am sure we saw the 29 people who actually survive there all winter at some point- but it is now a proven fact that deer outnumber the humans about 4:1. I went onto the porch to deposit a few empties in the bottle/can bag, and spooked a deer from 3 feet away- I was in the porch, and she was looking in- apparently, she might have been looking to snag a Moosehead lager.

The river was up, and at no time could I spot any fish in the river- but the ducks are there in plenty.

We planned on spending the week in our own way- she weaving baskets, and I was going to tie for the Mo. In the end, I tied almost all day each day in between trips to the cooler, or to the DVD player. I counted upon return, and had 358 flies tied. Mostly caddis and 3-4 step nymphs in #18. She had 27 baskets- which goes to show she didn’t change the DVD very often.

As I fumbled along, I chanced upon a thought...I hate March. There has never been a worthy thing happen in March in my life. March is like the romantic date that turns into a discussion of her ex. ...or the sickening sound of metal bending when one misjudges the distance between fender and tree. Just a real disappointment.

I have suggested to the young in our reach that should they ever chance to marry--- a marriage party in MARCH would have everyone attending. Otherwise...I have no solution to March.

THEN, I started thinking about the “good” in each month...April is the month of great unmet promise- fishing re-opens, but is almost always disappointing, yet we love the coming of April as it kills March. Then May and June- the great months of the early season. Just excellent. July is also worthy of a love affair, as it has variety in the North woods and on the salt. August swims with bass- just reaping the leaping bass is a winning basis for an entire month. September is a month of renewed promise and the great fall runs happen in late September and into the greatest of months- October. October is THE month- one to live in for eternity. October is the Sophia Loren of months- fish, ducks, cool days and chill nights, beauty, and sweet airs...I love October as much as I loath March. Then comes the underestimated November- a better month than many think---kind of like the girl you didn’t go to the Prom with. December is a switch over month, with one deciding that a return to tying and spending a little more time with family is due. January and February are limited to tying and beer- both worthy, but after a while, get stale. By the end of February, one has run out of rope of looking on the bright side---and MARCH looms ahead like the distance one has to drive to get home after the low gas light came on 20 minutes ago.

All things considered...camp was great.

Hutch

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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 6:21 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3576
Location: T3R11
Hutch, check the Snow Water Equivalent map for Helena/Great Falls area. I don't think the Missouri will lack for water this year.

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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 2:36 pm 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5328
Location: Near the tying bench
I've always looked at February- and especially February vacation week- as the All-Star game of fly tying (largely led by the teachers-turned-professional fly tyers during said week), whereas March is the September hunt for the post-season, with flies vying for a coveted spot in our fly boxes. Fly tying is just something that doesn't happen around my house until the Ides of January have passed. And during the fishing season- fly tying is mainly limited to pinch hitting to fill a spot in the batting order.

Of course, March is now a month for dog training for me, so my above mentioned fly tying schedule may have to get shifted a bit earlier to facilitate the pup getting his workouts in. A working dog needs exercise, training, and birds (and as I type this- apparently a nap- who knew riding to WV and back to be so energy sapping for a dog). April, May and June bring with them field trials and dogs dreaming of chukar and pheasant retrieves. Along with a dog owner looking forward to a dog napping in the drift boat.

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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 5:24 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5306
Location: Manchester, ME
March is for going someplace warm with fish. This was really easy when my sister was in Tampa. It worked great the year I got married and we decided to wait for mud season to go to Vieques, PR for the honeymoon. (That would not be a good choice this year after the hurricane.)


Now I have to choose between March someplace with snook or bonefish or Montana in September. Montana has been winning, and will again this year. This is poor planning, as September is pretty great here, but I just can't help myself.


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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 10:27 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2208
Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
I hear ya Hutch - March can be a cruel month with it's teasing bits of spring-like weather punctuated by dumps of heavy, wet snow...but there's so much going this month that it should pass quickly - The FFIM F3T Expo, the the Eastern Maine Sportsman's Show, the Frederick's of Freeport Show, the Maine State Sportsman's Show, several TU events and the Western Maine Show and on the last day of the month the paddling season begins - I look at it like the Thursday of the week - Friday's Friday - the anticipation of the upcoming season and the anxiety of still not being ready makes March fly by for me - who knows, the way things are looking you might even be able to start fishing comfortably in March - hang in there & Tight Lines!

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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: February 28th, 2018, 2:09 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3315
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
Thanks all-

Al- I had seen the water levels- good right now, but much can change. Brian- you are such an optimist!
Hutch

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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: March 2nd, 2018, 11:45 pm 
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Joined: January 24th, 2002, 1:00 am
Posts: 2344
Location: Lyons, CO
Where I live these days, March is a wonderful month. The snow is deep in the mountains and fresh stuff comes regularly, so the skiing can be wonderful.

And the fish come back to life!

Last Friday evening it snowed 6 inches in about an hour and a half. This Friday was well into the 60s and I saw my first riser in a while (I have not fished this winter) on the walk home from the bus, in a pool formed by a temporary gravel diversion dam where they continue to mess with the creek... again... Last March, there was a back eddy off the river in this area that was full of trout rising to midges in skinny water. I didn't catch a one, but it's hard to have more fun not catching fish. 6x, guerilla-style in the bushes, trying to guess which direction they are moving and make the first cast count with my invisible ninja midge emerger. No dice. And it was a 5 minute walk from home! This year, they have drained the flat. I cannot tell what they are doing, but it involves multiple excavators digging and moving gravel and cobble around and making a general mess. At least one fish is still making a go of it. It seems kind of wrong to bother him tomorrow after all he's been through with the excavator chasing him around all winter, but it sure is tempting.


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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2018, 1:44 am 
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Joined: March 24th, 2010, 9:49 pm
Posts: 499
Yes , Winter at camp. For a place with unmatched beauty in the spring and summer it is a desolate ghost town in the winter months. I am the highest point of land with the exception of Enchanted Mt. which probably rises another 200 ft. Nothing wants to live there. The only birds that fly by are lost. The wind blows almost constantly so if it is not cold enough the wind makes it colder. For about 8 years in the late 60s some enterprising people built a ski area on Enchanted Mt. It closed. People I've talked to who skied there rave about cold and wind. I do not snowmobile so perhaps those people have a totally different attitude.
With all that complaining done, the coming of spring turns the place into a whole new world. Remember in "Star Trek Genesis" when Kirks ex wife leads him out of the cave into the opening to show him the incredible world she created with her science project Genesis. Well, Its not quite that good but I'm trying to keep up with Hutches literary prowess. Anyway, things get a lot better in the spring in Enchanted TWP.
The only problem is the spring in central Maine lulls you into a false security. I can be mowing the lawn for the first time in central Maine, get excited and load up for the first trip to open up camp and, due to elevation, run smack dab into late February weather conditions in Enchanted TWP. After 40 years I don't make that mistake much any more.
If the change in season wasn't so drastic, the beauty and my appreciation for the place wouldn't be so intense. The way things look so far it appears I will be able to drive in to camp in late April. Keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe I should bring Kirks ex wife with me.


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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2018, 7:57 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2007, 12:00 am
Posts: 124
I'm with you, Hutch, on March. By far my least favorite month of the year in Maine.

Thanks for rubbing it in Pushaw!


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 Post subject: Re: February Vacation
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2018, 8:16 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4074
Location: Ellsworth
I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that March is the only month in the calendar in Maine that I’ve never caught trout.

I don’t loath March as much as Hutch does. The days are longer; the sun is stringer; mostly the bitter cold of December and January are long gone.

As I tie flies every month of the year, and mostly every day of those months; I don’t seem to get any more flies tied in March than other months.......but my daily four or five mile walk is a helluva lot more pleasant.

March is also the month that all my reels are brought out of storage, and the old leaders get snipped off all the lines on said reels........new Whitlock blind splices get put on the ends of those lines, and a few pleasant hours are spent with my Rio leader kit tieing blood knots for stepping down .002 from section to section. Pleasant and somewhat mindless work........but immensely satisfying. A really well tied blood knot is a thing of beauty.

Brian is correct in that here at least on the coastal plain unless we get hammered with snow in March there won’t be runoff this year.......but a rainy spring should have plenty of water in the rivers, and, at least from what I’ve been told.......there’s plenty of snow up in the hills.

Off to tie a few dozen more PMD’d and BWO’s.......and pick up the ubiquitous dog poop. Good tying, everyone.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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