I hope you all take a few moments tomorrow to remember what Memorial Day is all about; it is to remember and be thankful for those military personnel who were killed in the line of duty. As a veteran, it is a day I don’t take lightly, I am grateful to the men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom, and I feel sadness for the families who won’t have those people around during the weekend BBQ’s and celebrations taking place this weekend. I will have a moment of silence for them tomorrow, because freedom isn’t free.
Memorial Day weekend also marks the beginning of summer, even though summer doesn’t officially start until June 20th. I have always considered it to be the start of summer, mostly because of school getting out. But here in Colorado it isn’t feeling like summer yet; we just had a good amount of snow two weeks ago, and this week has seen a lot of heavy thunderstorms, hail, and even a few tornadoes spotted yesterday around where I live. Yesterday I got caught out a couple of miles from my truck when a bad storm came in, but at least I was on land and not in my canoe or kayak. I got soaked and there was a lot of lightening around, but I made it home just fine.
It’s an exciting time of year for fishing right now; many species are finishing their spawn and protecting their nests and young ones, in mountain rivers the trout are hungry and feeding heavily before the spring runoff starts, which will be very soon. While I am still recovering from my back surgery I am limited to lake fishing, which is fine, but I am anxious to get out on a river in the next month or so if the flows aren’t too high. With as much snow as we have had in the mountains this year I expect the runoff to be heavy at least through June, maybe even mid-July, so lake fishing is always a good option when the rivers and streams are high.
I have been getting out more and more in the past couple of weeks, and today I took my kayak out for the first time this year. I know my surgeon would admonish me for this if he knew what I did, but I used a tie-down strap to carry my kayak around my neck and shoulders from my truck to the lake, so it wasn’t too much of a strain on my back. I still have to wear my big back brace, and that is actually a good thing, it gives me the strength that hasn’t returned yet. I was so excited to get out on the lake, and just as I was 100 yards from the place to put my kayak in the water, I realized I left my paddle at home. Damn! Luckily I live close, and that brain fart only cost me about 30 minutes before I was putting my kayak in the water. Click here to see a video on my kayak. And here’s another.
I knew it would be a short day with more thunderstorms expected in the afternoon, but I wanted to get out for as much time as I could, and I had a great day on the lake. The water is so high right now that there are tons of what used to be sandy beaches that are now under 5 – 10 feet of water, perfect for warm water fishing this time of year. I spent more time exploring than I did fishing, but I still managed to catch two large-mouth bass and a small walleye in a short amount of time.
It was a great day on the lake, and I expect to have a better day on Tuesday when a high pressure system will keep the storms at bay, and the moon phase will make for better fishing. I will be hitting the lake hard that day, hopefully I will have some nice video and pictures to share. Until then, I hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you take a moment to remember what this holiday is all about.