By: Bill Thompson
This morning, on my daily jaunt around the block, I heard a couple of loons calling out on the lake. Of course the first thing that came to mind was Ethel Thayer’s famous quote: “Come here, Norman. Hurry up. The loons! The loons! They're welcoming us back”. In truth I was welcoming them back after a long winter. The return of the loons is a definite sign that winter has finally given up and last evening I had more good news. The ice has gone out on my favorite trout pond. Now if the last of the snow will melt in front of the garage where I store my old truck for the winter I will be all set.
The day before I was out exploring some of the back roads in the area; checking out the conditions on some of the local lakes. I was fully aware that the road I was on was not maintained during the winter and that there was a good possibility that the road might not be open all the way. Fully armed with the false sense of security that four wheel drive brings I ventured fourth with little thought of getting stuck. There was a time when putting a truck into four wheel drive required some effort. Today’s youth will never appreciate the joy of lucking hubs and the fact that you had to get out of the truck to put it into four wheel drive. Today you simply turn the dial on the dash board and away you go. I think that dial only adds to the myth of invincibility; you guessed it I slid off the road and got stuck.
The road was ninety-nine per-cent snow free with less than a hundred yards of ice covered road. I had turned the dial and the truck was in four wheel drive, but I hit a patch of ice and the truck slid into the ditch and try as I may it was stuck solid. Another thing I miss about old trucks is bench seats. Trying to crawl over the center console to get out the passenger side door is no easy task. Today’s youth will never know the joy of bench seats either and being able to set next to your girl and put your arm around her. After I managed to get out I tried to think of somebody I could call to help me out. When I did think of someone I discovered that the other modern convenience, that we all take for granted, the cell phone had no reception. The only thing to do was to walk out.
Lucky for me, about half way out to the main road I ran into a couple, and their dog, out for a walk. I explained my predicament and fortunately they had a four wheel drive pickup and were willing to help out. It didn’t look good for a moment, but a final good pull and I was free. Like you always do when things like this happen you try and off the Good Samaritan some money for their effort; of course they refused. “Pay it forward” they said and I will. That is one great thing about living in New Hampshire; you get stuck on a back road somewhere and just about always someone will give you a hand.
Now that the trout ponds are open I will be back out on the back roads shortly, looking for trout. For the last week of April and much of May I stick to pond fishing. Unless there is a quick runoff the rivers are seldom fishable until Memorial Day. I much prefer rivers, but you do what you have to do and drifting around a trout pond in a canoe is a lot of fun. I fish streamers a lot in the early spring and two of my favorites are the Black Ghost and the Golden Demon. By the end of May you do start to have a few hatching insects and for the most part a Adams Parachute will cover most situations. The other early flying insect is the dreaded Black Fly. The first warm day and they are out. Aside from their blood thirsty nature the trout do eat them and they can provide some good dry fly action. I always make sure I have a few Black Gnats and a few Griffen Gnats as well. Spring is here at last, time to wet a line.
See you on the river.