The winter months without a doubt limit the time that one would like to spend fishing. A person who loves to fish not only has to do battle with the elements in the form of low temperatures and snow and ice, but also with all the traditional customs that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays demand.
Let’s face it, November and December are two very busy months for all of us and fishing has to be put way down on the list of things to do… way down there, in fact.
And after those two months are out of the way, then one has to contend with January and February, the two months of the year where Mother Nature usually throws her worst weather at us.
I do manage to make a few trips to Montauk for the catch and release season during these winter months but only on nice days, which often are very rare.
As much as I love fishing, I’m not a fan of braving freezing temperatures and watching ice form on my fly rod.
I do own a pair of fishing gloves, the kind with the finger tips exposed, but as I have aged I have adopted a rule for myself that if it’s cold enough to necessitate the wearing of gloves, then the best thing for me is to stay inside.
I’ve fished in cold weather before (10 degrees once) when I was a younger lad but I have wised-up with age. When I was out there on that 10 degree day, I recall clearly that I wasn’t enjoying myself. Who in their right mind would?
It was brutal. That day I saw someone piling up wood on the bank of the river to make a fire, and after praising that gentleman for his ingenuity and intelligence, I got out of the water and helped him with his fire building.
So during the winter months, if I’m not able to fish, I turn to fly tying (a nice indoor hobby) or reading about fishing (another nice indoor hobby).
Recently I was at a used bookstore and found a book,” The Well-Tempered Angler,” by Arnold Gingrich, published in 1959 and decided to add it to my collection of fishing books.
In one of the chapters of the book, Mr. Gingrich mentions a club of which I had never heard… the 20/20 Club. This club holds no meetings. There are no monthly magazines. There are no membership cards. No secret handshakes or passwords. No embarrassing initiation rituals. No monthly dues.
The only requirement for membership is catching a 20-inch (or bigger) trout on a size 20 (or smaller) fly using light tackle and in accomplishing this feat, you will then possess the bragging rights of proudly saying that you are a 20/20 fisherman or fisherwoman.
Of course, fishing with light tackle can be very challenging but as Mr. Gingrich states in his book, this challenge can make one’s fishing experience a lot more satisfying.