Wednesday 7th November, 2007
Last Sunday at 2 am, the majority of US citizens turned their clocks back 1 hour for Daylight Savings Time. That means last weekend was 1 hour longer than the rest. For me, it also marks the beginning of what I call the Long Darkness.
Overnight, sunset changes by one hour. It gets dark at 5pm these days. That means I go to work just as the day is coming alive, and when I get back home, it is totally dark outside. For 5 days a week for the next several months, I'll spend the overwhelming majority of my time inside during the entire light of day. That can be tough, for sure.
But the Long Darkness also has it's advantages. For me, it's a time to catch up on things that I've been neglecting since May or June, when the first of the summer steelhead began nosing in from the salt. The first thing to catch up on is sleep. I spent my extra hour last weekend doing that - sleeping on the floor of my buddy's fly shop in between a couple of glorious fall days on the river. I'll keep fishing through the winter, but it will be more relaxing. I can leave the house at 6 or 7 am and be on the water at dawn instead now of having to be on the road by 3am. I can reel up at 4pm, instead of 9 or 10.
The next thing I'll start to catch up on is my fishing journal. I keep a log of my days on the water and any other great fishing ideas that I have that don't get posted here on the FP. My last full entry in the journal was for August 18th. Since then, I've been to Canada, and a week long road trip here in OR, along with the usual weekend missions. I don't remember it all, but fortunately I have a pile of notes scribbled on the backs of receipts, old fast food bags, and notebook papers to remind me.
I need to catch up on my fly tying too. By this point, I've got dozens of ideas for new patterns to try. I'll wrap up as many as I can, and send little boxes off to my buddies in MT or NY or wherever to try out on trout or bass or carp or whatever. I'll also try to fill up my boxes again and get a nice reserve of the patterns that I know I'll be using a lot of when the days get longer again.
What I'm really excited about is catching up with all my non-fishing friends. For some reason, these folks forgive me for all but abandoning them all summer while I'm off with another group chasing fish. Phone calls will be returned and emails written. Beers will be drunk and lies told. I'll go skiing again, and maybe even forget about fishing and steelhead for a day or two.
Well, maybe not.
Until next time,
PS - Another good thing to do during winter is watch fishing DVDs, like Spey to Z by Way Yin, Greg Pearson, and Topher Brown. Get your copy here . It made me a better caster. It can do the same for you.
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