As tradition January 1st is spent trout fishing. Found a small river I have never tried, minimal info on the web, going in blindly. After a 40 minute drive of which 10 are on forest dirt roads I arrive. First impression – positive. Not shallow, not overgrown. Casting is not difficult, pleasant scenery. Cast after cast I have no bites. Textbook trout areas – empty. I check about 3km of the river with no luck. So I head home.
January 3rd. Another river, this time I know for sure there are trout living there. Reaching the river, involved a bit of trekking. Water is very low. It does have plenty of fallen trees that block the current and create little pockets for the trout to hide in. I check as many as I can with no luck. I cannot help but think I started the season too early this year. 0 bites in two days was disappointing. Still spending time in nature is always better than sitting at home. I could have headed for a licensed river patch where a catch is a 100% guaranteed. But it is not as fun as finding a gem of river in the middle of a pine forest. Maybe will come back to try again in late spring. Hopefully the water rises and luck will be on my side.
January 5th I and two of my buddies agree to try our luck for some sea trout. Never fished for them and my gear is not suitable for it. But it was more about seeing old friends again. We head out early and around 9:00am we arrive. The river is much larger than I am used to fishing. I was the first to prep my gear. No time to lose I start casting, temperature is around -1 degrees and my rings slowly freeze up, will have to defrost them throughout the day. Three of us check river patches quickly and keep heading down stream. Occasionally we stop to share fishing stories and have a bite to eat with some hot tea to keep spirits high. After a 5km stint downstream we have zero bites between the three of us. We ended the day as the sun set. Tired and disappointed the journey home was sleepy and quite.
January 10th not losing hope I head 120km to try my luck in a picturesque river. It has steep, high banks. And curves threw a pine forest. Felt like fishing in a fairy tale. I have an optimistic start and see a small trout leaving the deep, jabbing my lure and fleeing. First trout of the season…sort of… With the luck I have been having I was ecstatic to even see a trout. 3km further and having rotated 6 lures I still do not have a solid bite. I stop occasional to sip some hot tea and contemplate what the hell I am doing wrong. Lure not diving deep enough? Cannot be, I keep hitting the bottom. Too early in the season for trout? Facebook is littered with trout catches. Is the weather to blame? Who knows? I keep plowing forward. As the day drew to an end I get another bite or maybe my lure hit a floating branch… after such a start to the season I might be imaging things… I end the day.
And that was the start of my 2020 season.