I’ve been itching to get out fishing this spring.
Unfortunately, along with the crocuses have come a long list of other post-winter priorities. I just can’t seem to find any time these past few weekends for fishing.
To make things worse, I have acquired new gear and knowledge that has not yet been applied to water. I was determined to take advantage of a weekday lunch break to fish and get re-energized at the same time.
It started with a Monday morning’s string of e-mails and a half-hour meeting that took three times as long and ended with a commitment for another meeting.
Without hesitation and my mental health in mind, I grabbed my five-piece four weight fly rod and headed to the Yukon River.
Desperate to fish, I walked the two blocks down Strickland and met the river by Kanoe People. I stood back on high ground and studied the water for a while, trying to read any pockets, lies, riffles or other currents where fish may be hiding.
Fortunately, it was dry enough to walk to the water’s edge without getting my work loafers wet and muddy.
I put together my rod and started working the pilings right next to Kanoe People. Fish like structure, and these old pilings must provide that cover they require.
I would cast into river upstream and watch my wet fly meander the roller-coaster of micro-currents until it stopped swinging.
The purpose of drifting a fly in strong currents is to have a drag free-drift right into a “target zone”. This requires feeding, or throwing out more line, mending or adjusting your line in order to get this perfect drift.
Rivers are rarely uniform, with speed, depth, wind, obstacles, adding variables to every square inch of water.
As I moved upstream toward the trolley station, I became more comfortable and gradually started applying some new casts. A part of my winter routine consisted of reading and watching videos exclusively on fly casting techniques.
While clunky at first, I was getting into the groove of roll-casting and spey casting.
It was a glorious spring day, with little birds in the willows rustling and hustling materials. People actively walking, running and cycling also feed off of the river’s energy.
As I studied the currents and cast my way through the lunch hour, I could feel the pulse of the river run through me. I was in tune with my natural surroundings, feeding line to the currents trying every possible nook and cranny that might be holding fish.
I knew when I set out that lunchtime, it would be a longshot to catch a Grayling on this stretch of river. However, I was in control of my time, ending it when I wanted to and agreeing to meet the river again for another meeting.
For the sake of your mental health, I highly recommend taking that lunch hour and fishing the Yukon River. Trust me, when you get back to that cubicle, computer and e-mail, you might be able to make it through the day.