seasonal affective disorder
I’ve always professed that as an angler I leave a lot to be desired. Yes, I catch a few. My casting isn’t really all that bad. But lately my integrity as an angler is becoming suspect and that has me worried. Last year by this time I’d fished several times since the beginning of the new year, for steelhead and trouts. This year, I’ve written more about fishing for steelhead and trouts than I’ve actually gone fishing. For example, last weeks Drivel suggested that I might be headed to Rocky Ford Creek to settle an old score. Any angler worth his salt would have taken one look at the weather forecast, clicked their heels and been on their way. A one, maybe two day window of decent weather was predicted, and given the foul weather we’ve had in this part of the country as of late, that should have been enough to set me on a course headed east.
It was not to be.
Because I suck. Now there may be good reasons for this and while I am not seeking an excuse, I am looking to find an explanation. I’ve spent the past few days examining the possible reasons for not going fishing, and have come up with the following:
1. Vitamin D deficiency. Not enough to cause rickets, but it’s a factor. Prior to April 8th, the Seattle area had 41 days without sunshine. That will beat a man down, drop him to his knees. There really is a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a sort of depression brought about by the long gloomy months of short, dark days during the winter. Now I grew up in the Pacific Northwet and one would think that this would forge a certain resolve; toughen me like a callous; make me impervious to the crap weather. Well, apparently not. La Niña did a good job of kicking me in the groin this year, and I must admit I’ve been a little pouty. What I need is a kick in the other side and a good day fishing. But what I really need is a heaping dose of Vitamin D, dished out by the sun, not a jar. It’ll get better. It has to.
2. Green slime. Thanks to the fact that the Seattle area had 41 days without sunshine and copious amounts of rain in recent weeks/months, the yard has been neglected. This isn’t a problem until the grass starts to grow in March, and when it starts to grow it needs to be cut. In order for it to be cut, there needs to be a day without rain, or better yet– a couple days without rain: one to dry things out, and the other to get things done. “Dude, how long can it take to mow the lawn?” you ask. A long time. And it’s my fault that we have a huge yard comprised mostly of grass, because we had a large piece of bare dirt to cover when we built our house and grass was the easiest way to do so. I’d say we have 3/4 of an acre that is actual “manicured” yard grass- it needs mowing twice a week. I had one narrow window of opportunity where a dry day presented itself (the same day that going fishing was a possibility). Going fishing or mowing the grass? Should be an easy choice, right? Well, it was and the grass won out. It was a two-stage process that involved mowing the 6 inch tall grass first with the mower deck set high, and then going back over it a second time to cut it to the length it needs to be. Even after a day of no rain the grass was wet. The mower plugged countless times. I discovered piles of canine fecal matter hidden in the tall grass only after it was too late. Very messy. And did I say it was wet? I discovered something this year that I’ve never seen before: some sort of green slime oozing up in sections of our lawn. It looked just like lime jello your grandma used to serve. When I first noticed it I thought the worst (whatever the worst is), but upon investigation I learned that “green slime in the grass” is a harmless condition caused by over saturation. Too much rain. So much to do, so little time. And so much slime.
3. Gas pains. Yep, I’ve got ’em. Actually, we all do. With the price of 87 octane nudging $3.90 a gallon locally, unless you’re wealthy or senseless, burning through a tank and a half of gas to go fish a place that’s probably just going to deliver a skunk becomes something of a ridiculous notion. Don’t get me wrong– I will continue to fish no matter what the price per barrel of oil becomes, but I will be more particular about how far I drive to voluntarily subject myself to not catching fish. It’s one thing to get skunked. It’s another thing to get skunked and spend $100 in gas doing so. Talk about frustrouting.
The obvious side effect of my personal misery is that I haven’t been fishing enough to provide ample fodder for blog-worthy posts. On the other hand, I never once made any guarantee to my legion of 12 Unaccomplished Angler followers that I would provide good subject material. A hack writer can fill a blog with anything. For example, this.