I really do live in a log cabin in the mountains of Colorado. This is the scene I woke up to this morning. Sure, the snow is pretty, especially around the holidays (when we get a foot in May, it really isn’t that neat anymore), and we need the moisture. The whiter it is in winter up here, the better the fishing will be next summer.
But if you like fishing as much as I do, winter can be a drag. I am very familiar with “cabin fever.” Thank goodness I have blog posts and stories to write. Otherwise I might find myself typing, “all work and no play makes Kirk a dull boy,” over and over… and over.
Fortunately, there are some things we can do to fight off cabin fever.
For starters, you can build a custom ice fishing bucket. Better yet, when you’re done, you can actually take it to the lake or pond and do some ice fishing.
I don’t watch a lot of television shows, but there are many fishing programs you might land on when you’re channel surfing.
Better yet, read a fishing book. Angling has a great literary tradition. I find myself reading how-to books more in the summer, when I am readily able to apply the advice I read. Winter is for the more literary tomes. And great fishing writing is timeless. A good tale by Ernest Hemingway or Zane Grey still intrigues and inspires today as it did decades ago.
Winter is also a great time for maintenance. I particularly like to clean reels in the winter. Find a work surface, lay down some plastic or newspaper, and take your reels apart and clean them. A rag and tap water is usually all you need to remove the grit and grime.
Of course, there’s also fly tying and lure building to keep us busy as well. I’m usually good for a dozen flies for every inch of snow that falls in a given storm. But I focus on a few patterns that I can spin up well.
If it snows enough this winter, I may have a loaded fly box, clean reels, and an energized spirit by the time all this stuff thaws in a few months. But I still can’t wait for that to happen.
Kirk Deeter is an editor-at-large for Field & Stream, and the editor of TROUT magazine.