Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Snowshoe & Campfire Finale for Fly Fishing 2013

   Without the fish, we likely would not have come.  However, the fishing wasn’t the main attraction on this particular trip.  The guys wanted to snowshoe into the valley and winter camp along the sweet little brookie stream tucked away in the Driftless Region.  I’d hoped we could trek in at night and enjoy the star-specked darkness of a moonless sky.  We made it all happen by altering our plans by one day to avoid the predicted rapid drop in temperature accompanied by freezing drizzle, snow and blustery wind.

   We towed our belongings in on our backs and on a sled on a starry, moonless night with the snow brightening our way.  The sled was also used to carry the firewood we cut for that night’s and the next morning’s campfire.  At the top of the ridge overlooking the little brookie stream, I paused and let the guys shoe ahead.  For a few moments I enjoyed the view of the valley coupled with the sound of the spring-fed stream.
   Dan and Jeff have an intimate knowledge of this little Iowa stream.  It is their favorite.  However, on a blue-sky, upper 30*F Saturday, the fish were inactive and all 3 of us were skunked.  However, we’d enjoyed each other’s company during an ideal winter’s night and day.  We’d laughed, shared meals, and drifted to sleep to the sounds of coyotes howling in the distance.

   Snowshoeing out of the valley was a bear – much of it is uphill and generally a workout, even without backpacks and a sled to pull.  But we all shared & appreciated the work and it was a mighty fine way to spend the last weekend of 2013.

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