Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Day Off

Where: The South Branch of the Raritan and Round Valley Reservoir, Hunterdon County
When: Tuesday, February 17th, 2009, 11am-5pm
What: Shiners, Garden Worms, Soft Plastics
Weather: Mid to Upper 30's. Wind 5 to 10 from the NE

It was a pleasure being outside.

Anyone who goes fishing expecting to catch fish is truly setting themself up for disappointment. It is a priveledge and a blessing to be outdoors, and catching a fish is but an added bonus. This being said, I would much rather be catching fish.
A few years back, I used to base the success and enjoyment of a day fishing on whether or not I caught fish. I would run from one spot to another, never really enjoying what was in between. As I was driving from Clinton to Califon to Lebanon yesterday, I took in some of the most beatiful wilderness that I have ever taken the time to notice. Hunterdon County is truly a beautiful place. Most of the farmland and countryside still has yet to fall victim to developers, and it makes for a wonderful, slow drive.
I didn't have the highest hopes of catching any fish. The water temps are still low and there was ice on the edges of the river. Most of the lakes in New Jersey are still covered with ice. I wanted to fish some open water, wanted to get out in the woods, so I decided to head out to a river that I knew wasn't frozen. I fished the South Branch in downtown Clinton in the late morning, the South Branch in Califon in the early afternoon, then headed to Round Valley Reservoir to fish 'til the sun went down.

Near the end of my day, as the sun was dropping below the mountain behind me and I was debating exactly how long I should wait it out and try to catch a fish, I heard a most beautiful sound. About 50 yards behind me, on a bench by the boat launch, a man was playing the flute to the likes of Ian Anderson. I haven't heard anything like it in some time. I turned around to check my lines, took in his music as the sun set and thought "Man, this has been a wonderful day."

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