You know what “they” say about March—it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
For those that don’t grasp the meaning, it’s a metaphor. It signifies that when the month of March begins, the weather is fierce—still winter-like. When the month is over, the weather has mellowed to gentle Spring-like conditions. That makes sense given that the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox occurs during March. The first official day of Spring—yay!
The season of Baseball—the quintessential fair weather game— has begun! The first significant bug hatch on most western rivers occurs in March—the march of the skwalas! Ah, the wonderous lambing season is upon us—let us rejoice in the season of hope, knowing that the glorious days of summer are approaching!
That may be the case where you live, but not here in the Pacific Northwet. Yes, March charged in like a lion, full of wind, rain and cold (for here, anyway) temperatures. We had snow accumulations during the first week of the month. As the lion marched on, the weather remained largely the same: gray, wet and chilly. I believe we had two days where the sun won the battle against clouds and rain. And in the last week of the month the weather has remained largely unchanged. Oh, sure, it looks as though on the 31st the clouds may part, the rain may cease, and we may actually see the sun for about the 10th time since October…but look ahead one day to April first and—no joke— we’re right back to the unseasonably cold, wet, shitty weather. 60 degrees? We haven’t seen that yet this year.
Plants are refusing to burst out with their display of Spring colors. The grass is green, and growing, but it’s having a hard time keeping up with the moss. It looks like winter outside save for a few hearty trees that are budding out, slowly.
Below are some stats about Seattle weather since October 2016, but as you read the tally, bear in mind that Seattle proper gets considerably less rain that where I live, 25 miles to the east: Seattle sees 37.49 inches per year on average; where I live sees 52 inches annually.
Seattle Weather Fun Facts courtesy of the NWS (Nasty Weather Service):
Of the 178 days that have passed since the “water year” began, Seattle has had 123 days with rain or snow, 149 with more than 70% cloud cover, and just 9 days with less than 30% cloud cover (which apparently constitutes a sunny day). Seattle set records for rainfall in October (10.05 inches). November and December were gray and miserable, but not as wet as October. January wasn’t record-wet, but it was gloomy as hell with 7.45 inches of rain. February was nearly a record month for rainfall in Seattle, with 8.85 inches (the record being 9.11 inches). Come on—we’re splitting hairs here—we should get a trophy for February. March has been the 6th wettest on record, with 6.66 inches (about 3.38 inches more than normal). February and March combined have had the most precipitation ever recorded in Seattle, with 15.56 inches. Remember, that’s in Seattle, which benefits from a bit of a rain shadow effect compared to most other parts of the Puget Sound region.
So, whomever “they” are that say, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” can bite me. This March the weather has sucked. The lion won. February, January, December, November and October sucked, too.
They also say that you can’t change the weather, but you can bitch about it, and I feel marginally better for having done so.
Pass the vitamin D—I’m clearly deficient. I probably need to go fishing, too.
Last year at about this same time, me and the Albacore’s ventured to Forks, WA to do a bit of steelhead fishing. We got rained out, and instead of fishing we sat on our asses and watched basketball for 3 days (shoot me now). Here’s a recount.
This year, when it came time to schedule the trip to Forks, I just couldn’t get excited about it (Mrs. UA and I had also already scheduled a trip to Nashville in April to see Schpanky, so my Big Spring Trip was spoken for). I felt a tinge of remorse for taking a pass on the Albacore trip because I do rather enjoy fishing with those boys, so I wished them well. I also figured that, in my absence, they would have a banner year. Steelhead on the swung fly. Many.
Well, I just heard from Large Albacore, and they didn’t touch a single fish. Not only that, they didn’t fish at all—the trip was a bust this year. The difference this year is that they determined it would be a rain-out before even making the trip: a pre-emptive strike, if you will. We should have made that same call last year, but as Large Albacore said this year, “I’m slow, but eventually I catch on.”
I must admit that I’m not surprised. It’s a dicey proposition to encounter favorable conditions in Forks this time of year, any year. Given that western Washington has had one of the wettest, coldest winters on record, and Forks is the wettest that the Pacific Northwet has to offer, the writing was on the wall.
So, as far as I can tell, the best way to not go fishing is to just stay home. It’s considerably cheaper than the cost of gas, ferry crossings, motel and food for 3-4 days, all to not go fishing. And by staying home I can control what’s on the television, and it’s not basketball.
Madness, I say.
This has been one of those winters that beats a person down and has them thinking about moving to Arizona and taking up outdoor shuffleboard.