Curing the fishing hangover

It happens every year after the Canadian pike trip – the fishing hang over.

You spend seven days catching a fish on every cast, buzzing around anywhere you want to go on a huge playground of a lake, quaffing mass quantities of Canadian beer and eating your weight in deep fried walleye fillets every day. You play poker till the generators kick off, eat beans from a can, and smoke cigars till your teeth turn brown.

And then you get back to the real world. You fart loudly at a restaurant with your wife. You crave booze and tobacco in the morning. You’re a bloated, wind-burned, bug-bitten mess and you just don’t know what to do with yourself.

Normally you’d turn to fishing to find solace, direction. But it’s hard to get motivated. You’re not in the mood to work for fish. And you’re sure as hell not interested in fishing for an hour or two, some small chunk of time stolen from work or family – it’s not worth it.

Nope. Better to stay home and rearrange furniture or water the garden.

Eventually you’d come back around. You’re not reading this unless you’re some kind of addict. You’d come back. But if you want a cure… you have to forget about the fish.

I found the cure the other night on the Lower McKenzie. We put in at 5:30 at Hayden Bridge on a float down to Armitage. Nobody expected to catch a fish till 8pm at least, so we took it slow and easy with a full cooler and turkey sandwiches. On a summer night, eating dinner, floating down a gorgeous river, it’s hard to feel the fishing hangover.

Yellow Sally Trip

And then it starts to happen, bugs. More bugs than you’ve ever seen in your life. Mayfly spinners, a mix of caddis, and a blizzard of little yellow stoneflies dive bombing the surface of the water. It’s hard to breathe without eating bugs.

The flat spots in this wide, lower river start to pop with tiny native cutthroat trout, some bigger fish mixed in somewhere. It’s nearly dark, and you can’t really see your fly. But you can hear trout splashing all around you.

And all of the sudden your hangover is cured.


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3 Responses to Curing the fishing hangover

  1. Matt Siegmund says:

    I hear you gave yourself another hangover!

  2. Rob R says:

    And all of a sudden you realize you’re hangover’s gone because you’re drunk…and you just missed the take out.

  3. Matt Stansberry says:

    True. It pays to have some hair of the dog. Or Tecate (WTF drinks Tecate?) as the case may be.

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