While all the hype leading up to the Super Bowl is fascinating, my heart really isn't in it since my favorite team didn't make it to the big game. I'm sure the Broncos and Seahawks matchup will be a great game, but I'm sorely tempted to go fishing on Super Bowl Sunday.
I'll give you a hot tip. Super Bowl Sunday is a great time to go outdoors, fishing or hunting. You may very well be the only soul at your favorite hot spot. While the rest of the world is huddled around their screens or packed in the stands in East Beer-can, New Jersey, you can be knee-deep in a beautiful creek casting to wary trout or smallmouth bass.
If you dress warmly and float your favorite stream in a canoe or kayak the only company you'll have will be beavers, ducks and kingfishers. I recall a float trip down the Stanislaus from Orange Blossom Bridge to Oakdale on a Super Bowl Sunday that I made with my fishing buddy, Bob. We had the entire river to ourselves and had a great time enjoying the critters, scenery and solitude. We caught some nice feisty fish and even managed to shoot a bushy-tailed grey squirrel. Late that afternoon, we had a barbecue dinner fit for a king.
While the nice warm weather we've been enjoying is certainly pleasant enough, we really need rain or our streams and wells are going to go dry. This would be a great time to fish some of the small feeder creeks that flow into area reservoirs. One of my favorite of those streams has about one mile of water that you can fish until you come to a small waterfall. In the winter, huge spawn trout enter the stream to mate and lay their eggs. It's entirely possible to catch a five or six pound trout in a knee deep stream. That doesn't occur very darned often, but if you're a fishing fanatic, you can set your TV to record the big game while you're out catching the fish of a lifetime.
Almost every winter I hike down into my secret feeder creek and usually catch six or eight trout from 18 to 26 inches. Because the fish are spawners, creating the next generation of great fishing, it has probably been over 20 years since I've actually killed one of the large fish. You're far better off to take a few streamside photos and release your trophies unharmed so you can come back and catch them year after year. If you want to have fish for dinner, visit a local crappie pond or a meadow stretch filled with beaver ponds and brooks. Both brooks and crappie ponds tend to over populate. Taking home a batch of them for dinner actually helps improve the health of a water. It doesn't get much better than that.
I hope you enjoy the Super Bowl, but I think I'll go fishing instead.
Until next time!
Don Moyer began writing his outdoor column, Tight Lines, at the Tracy Press in 1979. Don’s first book Tight Lines, Observations of an Outdoor Philosopher is on the Amazon.com best seller list.