Knocking on wood: excuses for not fishing

I haven’t been fishing in what seems like a long time. For those who live in trout country, this probably isn’t such an odd thing. After all, when the water temps dip into the 30’s and the trout enter their catatonic wintery coma, fishing for them tends to grind to a halt. That’s when the trout fishermen (which is a term to describe those who fish, be they men or women, or some surgically-created hybrid) turn inward and do other things related to fishing to keep them busy. They tie flies, clean lines, rearrange gear,  make plans to attend some of the upcoming fly fishing tradeshows, etc. This is all well and good. And because I do fish for trouts I do have the excuse that trout fishing is shut down for the winter.  However, I live in Anadromopolis.  I should be out casting a Spey rod for sea run rainbow trouts: steelhead. But I haven’t been yet.

Why not?  There are reasons, and three of them sound like valid excuses to me:

• Winter steelhead fishing really starts in earnest in January. That’s true. There may be some early fish in the river systems, but typically January marks the true beginning of winter steelhead fishing around here. 

• There aren’t that many fish in our local rivers. Again, true. But that’s nothing new. Our local Puget Sound rivers have not been very productive for steelhead fishing in years. It’s not getting any better, but that shouldn’t stop the fisherman who enjoys getting out for the sake of practicing their casting, with the remote hope of hooking up with a fish.

• The weather has been crappy and the rivers are blown out. Not true. While that was definitely the case last year thanks to La Niña, the same cannot be said of this year. And while the meteorologists told us we were in for another La Niña winter this year, that has not proved to be the case so far (knock on wood). We had early snow in the mountains before Thanksgiving, but precipitation since then has been low. The weather has been cooler than normal, but also drier. Consequently our rivers are in good shape.

• I’ve been traveling for work and unable to find time for fishing. HA! I don’t travel for work. In fact, I rarely leave my home office for work. Truth be told, my work has been slow for the past couple of months. Too slow. I’ve had plenty of time for fishing, but I’ve been burdened with anxiety over the lack of work, which has kept me from feeling much like fishing. Work has to pick up (knock on wood).

• My waders leak and I’ve been waiting to get a new pair for Christmas. False. My waders are fine. They do not leak (knock on wood), nor am I getting a new pair for Christmas.

• I broke my Sage Z-Axis 7136 Spey rod on a huge fish, had to send the tip section in for warranty repair, and Sage has been very slow to return it. This is both false, and a crock.  I did not break my 7136 (knock on wood). But even if I had , Sage would have turned it around in short order as they are known to do.

• I’m recovering from knee surgery. An old college football injury that has plagued me for years finally begged to be corrected. Uh, false. I did not have surgery. I have never had a knee injury (knock on wood). I did not play college football.

• I’m just a worthless excuse for a fisherman. I’ve been in some sort of funk, have no gumption and simply have not gone fishing. This is true.

I’m out of excuses and there’s no more wood upon which to knock. There’s only one thing to do…



18 thoughts on “Knocking on wood: excuses for not fishing”

  1. Erin Block says:

    I think that one thing must be a nap…

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      You may well be right, Erin. But I feel I’ve been asleep for months already. What I need is an awakening.

      1. Erin Block says:

        Snacks! One needs energy for these types of things! :)

        1. Kirk Werner says:

          Snacks are always good. They’re just the ticket for motivating my dog to do things, it should work for me too. Right? Merry Christmas, Erin!

  2. Patrick says:

    Having been fishing in a while myself, and while I don’t travel for work, thankfully I can cite work as occuping much of my time. (I also ate up vacation time over the year.) But your post is making me feel a tad guilty…I hear the Trinity River down here (California) is producing some good steelhead fishing…and that the steelhead are lining up at the mouths of other rivers, we just need a good rain get ’em moving… But that would mean I’d have to take up the pain and suffering that is steelheading. Maybe next year, when I can get some of those heated waders. Even then I could blame my bum knee. True, though I didn’t play football either, but nonetheless a pain to deal with sometimes.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      I didn’t realize there were any steelhead left in California, Pat? You better get out there with an 8 weight and insulated waders and begin casting for them now. By the time you get some rain to move the fish, you may be close to your 1000th cast.

  3. cofisher says:

    I am so ashamed of a non-fishing angler…I can’t look in the mirror.

  4. Ed says:

    Kirk –

    Snap out of it man! You gotta get out there and do some steelhead wishing.

    I’m heading out next week with a couple of 14 year old boys who want to give it a try. Let’s hope that they hook up to at least one fish — that should be enough to secure a couple more fishermen (which is a term to describe those who fish, be they men or women, or some surgically-created hybrid) to carry on the steelhead wishing tradition!

    Once you get out on the water all of your troubles will be gone — at least for a little while.

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Merry Christmas, Ed, and thanks for the encouragement. Good on ye for gettin’ those young ‘uns out on the water!

  5. Dave says:

    I must say this lack of action displeases me very much! We have had very similar conditions down here in the Willamette Valley, and the fishing has slowed some. With the super low water conditions, I have focused my efforts a bit closer to home while awaiting some change in weather. Let’s just say it hasn’t been red hot, but there have been many fish caught over the last week and since Dec 1, 8 summer steelhead have been on the other end of my line (6 in one day, one of which was @14-15lbs). Here is your motivation! You know, you can’t even try to catch fish staying at home all warm and dry! Get out there man! You can doooo eeeeet!


    1. Kirk Werner says:

      You youthful enthusiasm and gumption does wonders for my ambition, Dave. I’m going to go fishing, soon. Maybe tomorrow. No, wait- that’s Christmas Eve. Maybe next week, when every other fisherman with time off is out flogging the waters in search of the same (one) fish. My timing is impeccable!

  6. Sanders says:

    I just use the old stand by, “Copiers don’t sell themselves…” feel free to add that to your excuse list, you’ll enjoy the looks…which reminds me, I need to sharpen the pencil on the resume. The copier game is getting tough…they just don’t sell like they used to.

    oh, and you really should try and get out…despite the time of year, lack of fish, bad weather and blown out rivers, your extensive travel schedule, some leaky waders, poor customer service, and a bum knee. You might have some fun.


    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Sanders, I can imagine that the charm has worn off the copier industry, which means you should probably consider a new career in VCR sales. We’re almost due for a new one, I think. The clock has been flashing on it for several years now and I think it’s broken.

  7. cofisher says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Unaccomplished One and his family!

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      Merry Christmas right back atcha, Howard, and Cheers to you and yourn in the New Year!

  8. You, Sir, are a clearly an unskilled angler, but to your credit at least you are forthright and openly acknowledge this. For the sake and safety of everyone concerned, it’s best that you’re not out plying the waters. You’ll be far more productive if you simply stay inside your little comfortable world.

    1. Kirk Werner says:

      What kind of man are you to come out of nowhere and start dissing the UA? Oh wait, you’re not a man. You’re just a stupid troot. Go away.

  9. Them’s some fine excuses Kirk. I hope you got out there at some point. With my current lack of work, fishing is the only thing keeping me sane. We’re having a La Nina winter so far- almost no snow and above freezing temps. The rivers are so low that the steelhead aren’t coming in, or at least that’s my excuse for not catching any.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.