When you post a photo standing up to your waist in ice, people are going to ask questions. Obviously I wasn't planning on falling in, I just wanted to fish.
Early spring is tough for a fly fisherman, with all the waiting, the preparations and the false hopes. Every warm day seems to be followed by a freezing, brutally cold one. That means you have to take full advantage of every warm day that does eventually show up.
Last Spring I was fishing with the Postfly crew, hopping from ice shelf to ice shelf, something no one should do, since it's such a dumb idea, but that's what happens in the Spring. You do some stupid stuff. We knew it was shallow and nothing would happen even if one of us did fall in, I just didn't expect it to actually happen.
I was snapping photos, running around to get some different angles, and occasionally throwing out a few casts for myself now and again. I tucked my camera into my waders one more time and picked up my fly rod. I walked out onto the ice as I was peeling out some line to make a cast. I picked the route that looked the sturdiest, with the thickest ice possible and took a few steps forward. Then it got really cold, really fast.
The surprise I felt actually made me laugh. I've been ice fishing since I was growing up on Cape Cod. Of course it's always in the back of your mind, but it's never even been close for me. I'm just glad I didn't land on a rock and break my ankle. Good thing wading boots are sturdy.
Once the initial shock wore off, I grabbed my camera. You don't spend years taking photos without knowing that whenever you don't feel like taking a photo, that's when you need to take one. Now every time I think about early season fly fishing, this is what I think about.
The next time you want to go fly fishing early in the season, just wait, it's probably too early.
Interested in trying out fly fishing? What about from a kayak? Pick up a copy of my new book, Kayak Fly Fishing.