While typically the winter months see a slow down for me, that’s not the reason I haven’t posted in awhile. Actually the mild winter we are having here in North Carolina has allowed me some really good outdoor activities. I got to do some wild trout fishing in the mountains with good buddy Cope, just before Christmas. After Christmas, I spent a day with two more fly fishing buddies Malcolm and Jim as we chased stripers with the long rod on Kerr Lake. There was also a day with my step-son busting quail at our local hunting preserve, and of course there were several good mountain bike rides.
I got to ring in New Year’s Eve with my band mates, Will Baker and the Sticky Wickets. We really rocked ‘em at the Bean and Barrel. We crashed at my drummer’s house that night…or should I say morning. I think we finally went to bed about 3:30am. I haven’t done that in a few years! It was worth it…even the young crowd liked our rendition of Bowie’s “Heroes” and yes I play my harp on that one too…using a few cool effects.
Most recently, we had a mild February Saturday that allowed me a great ride in the morning at my home trail in Little River park. I felt good although there are a couple of short climbs that had me huffin and puffin but not too bad. I finished the ride before the rains set in and closed the trail. It was great to be in the woods. That afternoon I was supposed to fish a local stream for some “jacks” also known as chain pickerel. They spawn in February typically, so I figured they would be active, especially given our mild winter. Cope was going to join me but bagged it because it looked like rain and cooler temps would move into our area.
The rain held off enough and I went anyway…I am a stormwater guy after all. I hiked into New Hope Creek, known for a good population of jacks. I stopped at a pool where I’d caught a 20 incher before and the hole didn’t fail me this time either. I caught two there…caught a few more as I worked my way downstream. None of ‘em were too big…about 12 inches is all, except for the one that broke me off and got away. That one had to be over 24 inches…had to be because I broke it off and that’s how fish stories are told. A fish in the hand has a definite size…a fish broken off has the ability to keep growin’.
The day ended with a good stout from a local brewery…first time I had been there. I’m not sure why I waited so long. So let’s recount the day, February, mountain bikin’, fly fishing for jacks, and a hardy stout. I guess it was a perfect day!