In less than one week, the 2015 Wisconsin Early Trout Season opens, and its about f#@*king time. Opening day is coming at a critical time. Not a second too soon. My mental health is starting to suffer, and this past February's never ending cold spells haven't helped matters at all.
I'll admit, aside from the cold snap that is currently vexing the upper midwest, this winter hasn't been terrible with regards to weather. Maybe even a little bit on the low end for snow cover. However, in terms of the cosmic tumblers all lining up to make life unnecessarily miserable; this off-season has been awful.
As I type, my wife's van sits in our garage...unmovable until I limp it over to the repair shop (where I am quickly earning the customer of the year award) later today for somewhere between $600 and $1000 worth of parts and labor. Again. This time, a new power steering rack is on the menu, and is just is just the latest in a string of ugly little surprises for the MacLoosh clan.
(Surely you'll understand as I find a plastic spoon to slit my wrists with...)
The sum total of financial set-backs, cold weather, never ending workplace drama, and a dangerous lack of fresh air leaves a fella with a severe case of cabin fever that sometimes manifests itself in weird, and possibly unhealthy ways. Couple that with an always ready internet connection, and you end up watching a video like this and saying to yourself "I wonder if I am related to this odd, wonderful, and talented dancing queen":
And then there is all that time spent playing Boom Beach. A truly addicting game, whose tagline should be: If I have to explain it to you, you wouldn't understand anyway.
Fortunately, the New Glarus Brewery seems to implicitly understand the mental health dangers associated with winter, and has an offering that is among the things that are helping to keep me as close to "balanced" as I get.
(Foolish optimism is sign of madness)
Usually at this time of year, I start thinking of getting some of the latest greatest new gear for the upcoming fishing season. But, due to the above...that leap I was thinking of taking into the world of Tenkara is just going to be put on hold. Sorry Badger Tenkara, that BAD AXE rod and starter kit is just going to have to wait. There is also a brand new Cabela's set to open next month, a scant 10 miles from my front door. (...uh oh...) Both were a factor in all that drunken spending I had planned to do, but have been squashed by the car repairs. Retail therapy just isn't in the cards. For now.
Instead, I have turned inward, and employed a little redneck engineering to settle that new gear fix. With the help of Pinterest, YouTube, manic blog reading, and several other social media websites, along with scrounging spare parts from around the house (with an occasional trip to Hobby Lobby for things like a $2 roll of 1/4" elastic)...I have been busy in the Do It Yourself category and I'm kinda proud of my efforts.
Here is a little peak at some of my "new" 2015 gear:
|A re-purposed (and modified) "Bucket Boss" beats buying a $80 Umpqua Tailgater Every.Single.Time.|
|Bombproof PVC Rod case (approx $7) vs. store bought storage tubes. Yes Please.|
|Tippet spool minders? Approx. $.25/ea to make. Foggedaboutitt.|
|Tippet Caddy. Sorry Orvis...free garage scraps will work just fine.|
To the winter of my discontent, I heartily say: Piss off.
To the start of a new fishing season, and hopefully getting past a slump...I enthusiastically say: GAME.FREAKING.ON.