As seasons change the anticipation of the next outdoor activity looms strong and maybe nowhere more than fishing.  I love to fish, open water or ice I love it all summer, fall, winter and spring. And when the phone rang with a friend on the other and spouting….hey…lets float… despite a chill in the air and some snow on the ground, I was ALL-IN

Footnote:   This first-float took place early-mid March in WY 2020.   We can debate looking back if this was a good practice or poor in terms of practicing safe-distancing relating to COVID-19.  To our defense this was before the vast amount of knowledge was readily available to those not searching for it. No excuse but as outdoorsman sometimes, I avoid daily news reports as I most often I give national and world news a thorough read-thru 1-2X a week.    That said, outdoor activities, enjoyed at distance have been and continue to be considered safe. As naïve as we were this day, we did know enough to allow spacing amongst us and follow sanitary guidelines, albeit quite basic. I will defend our decision to fish, especially considering our knowledge at the time.   I will continue to advocate healthy spaced outdoor activities as “essential” to our physical and mental health.  

How fun is it to prepare for that 1st outing of the season…  rummaging thru the bins assembling the needs for the day.  Laying it all out and remembering that you intended to do a fewl things in the off season that now have been overlooked.  Ooops… Oh well, best fish now and figure out the rest later.  

Packed up and ready to go. 

Kell owns the boat and picks me up in the AM, we review our needs for the day and determine we need to insure license’s are in place…  quick review, new online purchase and away we go..

Tristen meets us at the access and is only there because his guide client that day thought it might be too chilly to fish.  No prodding necessary to motivate him for a day on the water, we are all looking for our first float of the year.  

The veteran guide Tristen lands the first fish of the trip on one of his personally tied streamers.

Sun we didn’t have much of but the beauty of the white snow and clear flowing water of the Snake River made for a scenic and serine float.   Kell continues to row us to clean, deeper slow-flow and the fish locations start to reveal.

Kell finally gets a chance to cast and capitalizes quickly with this beauty.  

By mid-afternoon the pattern is becoming more predictable and action quickens …..  Believe this is where I got quite proficient at catching whitefish!!  

1st trip of the season on open water and exceeded expectations. Plenty of opportunity some capitalized on, others missed.  Most importantly a re-connect with the resource, a few species of fish and some friends.

We arrive at our pre-determined pull-out access with boat/trailer ready for us, per the vehicle moving services.  As we review the day verbally snug boat cover and remove layer upon layer of clothing necessary for a day on soft water surrounded by frozen we get a visit from a WY conservation officer.  Pleasant man who seems more intrigued by stories of our catch’s and stream conditions than anything else. Yet when you think of it he didn’t overlook why he was there, he did his job and checked licenses.  Commends us all for being 100% legal, we laugh and share the story of purchasing documents online despite the rare chance we would bump into him today. Plenty of smiles, laughs and good feelings as the day will officially kick-off the open water fishing season for each of us.