December 9, 2011

Ice Man at Cold Creek

Bright rainbow; first trout of the day on a beaded prince nymph
We had a little cold snap in Las Vegas this week, a precursor of the colder winter to come.  It made me reflect upon the Cold Creek pond, wondering if the freezing overnight temperatures had sealed its fate for the season.  But yesterday was a nice day for late fall standards, and the weekend forecast was good.  Being an impulsive fisherman I decided to see about the ice status for myself this morning.

Perfect reflection on tranquil pond of Cold Creek
I dropped off Evan and his friend at the high school around 6:40 am and headed west on U.S. 95.  When I reached the pond about forty-five minutes later my Trout Truck temperature gauge reported a sub-freezing temperature of 30 degrees, but the sun had just come up over the Spring Mountains so it was certain to warm up.  There was ice forming on the pond, but the central and deepest part of the pond was still clear.  As soon as I slid out of the truck I saw a trout break the glass calm surface.  I was prepared for the cold weather as I had brought my down jacket and fingerless polar fleece gloves.  Anxiously I fumbled to string up my rod, partly because the gloves and cold temperature impeded my dexterity, but also because when I reeled in my line from the previous outing it was carelessly wrapped too loose so that when I pulled the leader from the reel I got a tangle of fly line.  This only frustrated me more as I only had about forty-five minutes to fish since my wife expected me home by 9:00 am so she could keep an appointment while I watched over our foster daughter.
Ice encroaching from the south-eastern inlet area
Same ice area from different Angle; note trout rise form in the center
It took what seemed like ten minutes to unwind the mess, but I did manage to fish the iceless portion of the pond for about thirty minutes.  It was a calm, quiet thirty minutes.  At first a little wind kicked up and I noticed some ice forming on the stripping guide of the little four-weight rod, but as the temperature rose with the sun everything calmed down and laid still.
Second Cold Creek trout of the morning
There were a couple of trout that routinely worked the surface, and I wondered a little about my decision not to bring the floating line.  I did manage to catch two trout in that half hour, so everything worked out just fine.

Trout about to be released
I saw nary a feral horse or other wildlife.  It was a tranquil visit before the onset of winter freezes over the pond for the next few months. After I stowed away the equipment, climbed into my cab, and started the engine I notice that the outdoor temperature had risen eight degrees to thirty-eight.  That made me think about how nice the fishing would be in a few hours, and I felt a little glum about having to leave so early to be home.  Then I remembered Matthew 6:33.  If we are not careful, we always seem to take the gifts the Lord bestows for granted.  We need to live in the present, and all else will be as it should.

"Tight Lines"
One of Jesus's teachings in his Sermon on the Mount has to do with worry (Matthew 6:25-34). One aspect of worry is living in the present and not dwelling on the those things you want but worry you won't get.  Jesus concludes this teaching with the following: 

Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
So, live for today as if there is no tomorrow.

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