Monday, July 11, 2022

My Seven Week Summer


This is the year my foot is getting fixed. Without going into all the morbid details, after years of injuries, my left foot collapsed, so bad that without orthotics, I'm walking on my ankle joint. When I was told I had to get it repaired, or else, that gave me seven weeks to do summer and trout season. Saturday was the last day of that. Weather permitting, I may sneak one more Saturday in while I'm in pre-surgery self-isolation, provided I fish where people aren't. It's also the summer my "trout drought" ended. Here is what works, what doesn't, and what I did in "My Seven Week Summer:"

Opening Weekend: The Trout Drought is Broken 

Knowing that I would have very little chance this summer to fish with my favorite fishing buddy, my granddaughter Sophie, my daughter (her mother) and I agreed that weather permitting, we would fish the opener. We started at Ann Lake, near Chanhassen, where we had hoped to launch Sophie’s fishing kayak and my solo canoe, but conditions were just too windy. We stowed the boats, grabbed a quick lunch, and went to Courthouse Lake in Chaska. I had been using my Badger Tenkara UNC (Un-Named Creek) rod for the few casts that I made at Ann Lake, but over the winter I received a new ReyrGear Tenkara rod and was anxious to try it out. On my very first cast with it, I caught a palm-sized bluegill or pumpkinseed as Sophie calls them and landed a few more before changing rods.

Much of the fishing I did back in New York before we moved to Minnesota, was done on ultralight, backpacking-type fishing tackle, and I’ve got some nice bass and panfish on ultralight here in Minnesota. But we’ve been here for almost 35 years now, and my ultralight equipment is even older than that, so also over the winter, I invested in a collapsible Eagle Claw ultralight fishing rod and Daiwa ultralight reel, primarily to use when I’m fishing with Sophie. On my very first cast with this rod as well, I hooked something. I thought it was a bass, or good-sized crappie, which fought my reeling it in, and then it jumped out of the water the first time and I realized that it was more than likely a rainbow trout. I was able to get it in the net, get the Mepps Trout spinner out of its jaw, take its picture and return it to the lake. We both bought a few more fish, but first and foremost in my mind was that the “trout drought” that I’ve experienced since moving to Minnesota, was over.