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A fish tail

Notes from the North Woods

As winter begins a slow transition towards spring, my enthusiasm for the coldest season has already begun to diminish.

I still plan to get in a few more days of skiing, and hopefully at least one outing with my ice boat.

However, I’ve already begun scouring the maps in an effort to pin down a location for the first fishing trip of the new season. I’m ready to trade ski poles for fishing poles, and get on with the business of taking a slow troll across a small pond.

The bug has already bit me, and I just can’t shake it loose. It started while I was sorting through old photos, in an effort to put together a slide presentation for the annual Sportsmen’s Dinner, which will be hosted in Schroon Lake on March 23.

As the photos flashed one by one, across the screen, I began to get the jitters. What followed was the usual routine of rolling out the maps, checking stocking reports, calculating the mileage into the ponds and finally, taking on the dreaded task of fleshing out my gear.

Soon, my back porch was cluttered with squeaky reels and stinky creels, which were buried under a pile of flies, lures and an assortment of new and true lies to go with each of them.

After poking around in the pile of gear, and making a feeble attempt to re-disorganize the mess, I decided to go back and sort through the slides.

With the images of big brook trout flashing before my eyes, and the stale scent of fish lingering on my fingers, I began to get the shakes. And even though I know it is far too early to even contemplate the prospect of casting a line; it is never too soon to dream about it.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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