My mind automatically brings me back to the summer. I see blue skies, open fields, and the beautiful expanses of _______. It's hot and dry - but the water is always cool.
There are big trout there. Some are smart, and others, like this one, aren't.
Sometimes I walk, other times I row. But you can be damn sure that I won't be wearing waders anywhere, and layering up is the last thing on my mind.
I think of special rivers - where special fish live.
Hoppers are everywhere - the fish know it, and take advantage of every opportunity to eat one. Even when it's made of foam.
And then I look at the calendar. It's December, and I kick myself for dreaming of June, July, August, and September in a place that's a few thousand miles away while some of the best fishing of the year is about to happen close to home.
Lots of people are busy thinking that it's too cold, too snowy, and they cringe at the thought of layering up. December brings out a different kind of fisherman - it's not just the guys who like it that are trying their luck now. It's the ones that love it and really want to be there.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you guys that December fishing is always great - the water is cold, and the weather is usually colder. Sometimes the fishing is great, but other times it's not. But there's something about fishing in a blizzard, or after a fresh snow that gets me really excited, and there's no better feeling walking down the path to the river, and realizing that your set of footprints is the only one that's been down that way on this particular day.
But in December on the southern shore of Lake Erie there's no better place to be than on the banks of one of our streams, fishing that high, green water. And the only other people around are the ones that came with you.
Good luck staying warm.