One of the signs you’re suffering from cabin-fever is taking inventory of all your “stuff:” You take out your fly rods from their tubes, put them together and cast them to the rings where a trout just rose ….right there in your living room. Reels are examined and given a turn, testing the drag. Fly boxes are opened and the flies inside are examined and sorted, then replaced, taking care not to smash the wings on the dries.
One of the most important pieces of equipment is your hat with the wool band holding flies you’ve used and put there to dry – never replacing them in the box they came out of. You admire it for a while, remembering the time you walked through that bog where it got knocked off your head by low hanging branches of cedars guarding the edge of the river. It’s the same place you punch your way through every opening day because you know getting there a different way would reveal the spot. It’s also the last place you fish at the close of the season. Sure, you still fish on rivers open all year, but it’s not the same as fishing during the “season.”
Another sign is when you go through the bookshelf and re-read books by Gene Hill, Gordon MacQuarrie, Steve Smith and other writers of outdoor yarns that, somehow, you feel, had you in mind when they wrote those books.
You look at photos of floats with friends and fish you’ve caught – some released, some fried in bacon grease and enjoyed immensely. (Don’t bother to send me email telling me how immoral it is to kill a fish. I’m not buying it.)
Then, after going through shelves, drawers, closets and places your “She Who Must Be Obeyed” doesn’t know about, you scan the new catalogs, just in case you don’t have that something you really need …of course, you find nothing.
Carefully, you replace the “stuff” from where it was stored and remind yourself to remember where it is when you want it on the last Saturday in April.
Back to the recliner; white socks pointed toward the ceiling with two-fingers of bourbon in the glass with a trout, grouse or deer etching. Then, closing your eyes, you’re there.