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Off the Schneid

Posted May 03 2013 11:38am
From Wikipedia, a definition of "get off the schneid"
"To break a scoreless, hitless, or winless streak (i.e., a schneid). According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term "schneid" comes to baseball via gin rummy, and in turn comes from German / Yiddish "schneider," one who cuts cloth, i.e., a tailor."

Wednesday, I got off the schneid, fishing-wise.

I had been shut out on opening day.  Last weekend, I fished Saturday and Sunday, and caught nothing at all. This week, my son had Wednesday off from work, so I took the day as well.  We returned to where we had fished opening day.

We started in the Middlebury River.  The water levels were down and the water was very clear.  It was so clear that we saw a few fish in the river after we'd spooked them while wading.  We fished a very promising stretch for over an hour with no luck and then moved to the New Haven River.

The first spot that we went to is probably the single most popular spot on the New Haven.  It's so popular that I wasn't going to fish there at all, but we had stopped at the local fly fishing store and the person working there suggested giving it a try.  We also talked about some advice from the main fishing guide from that shop.  He's been emphasizing letting wet flies swing the whole way to a dead stop downstream and then letting them just float in the current for a little bit before casting again.  That turned out to be very important advice.

When we got to the river, my son decided to fish upstream and I went down.  I don't know why I went downstream, because I've only ever caught fish on the upstream portion of the river at this spot.  But, I went downstream anyway.  Before I could launch my first cast, my leader and flies got all tangled up.  I couldn't untangle everything and I lost ten minutes before I got everything cut and re-tied.  I was surprised at the number of bugs in the air, but no fish were coming to the surface.  I was fishing a brown stonefly with a Montana Prince Nymph as my trailing fly.  There were caddis flies, Baetis, and Hendricksons in the air.  I fished the entire downstream stretch that can be easily waded.  I worked slowly downstream, trying to hit every inch of water.  Nothing.  I started fishing back upstream, focusing a bit more on the sections that were in the shade.  It was a bright sunny day and with fairly clear water, I was guessing the fish were hiding in the shade.

On every cast, I would let the fly drift until it was done moving.  Then, I'd count to five and only then would I start my retrieve.  And suddenly, right on the count of 5, I had a fish on.  I guessed quickly that it was a brown trout rather than a rainbow because it wanted to stay deep rather than jumping.  And, it seemed strong but not particularly big.  But, the longer I fought the fish, the more I started to wonder if it might be bigger.  I got it within eyesight a couple times, but when the fish saw me in the river, it took off like a shot.  Earlier this year, I bought a new rod and reel, easily the most expensive fly fishing gear I've ever purchased.  The reel seemed like overkill - something designed with a state-of-the-art drag system to stop fish from snapping the line.  Would I really need that in our little Vermont rivers?  As it turned out, the answer is yes.  Three different times, the fish took off on its own, and I simply let it pull out line against the drag.  After about ten minutes, I finally got it to the net.  The frame of my net is 18" long and the fish barely fit into the net.  It was at least 16", perhaps a bit more.  And fat.  This photo - with the net frame held high and the fish in the bottom of the net, doesn't really show the size of the fish very well, but I was trying to keep it in the water as much as possible

Regretfully, this was the only fish of the day.  My son has been out three days and he is still "on the schneid", I suppose.

Looking at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resource's page this morning, I saw that the New Haven received 3500 stocked fish yesterday.  Stocked fish are not my favorite fish to catch, but I really need my son to catch some fish.  So, I think we will head back to the New Haven tomorrow afternoon for a few hours.

And yeah, I still work out on occasion.  Monday night's CrossFit workout was really tough.  We did moderately heavy "pause squats", where you hold the bottom position for three seconds.  Then, deadlifts mixed with running for 10 hard minutes.  Tuesday was a modified workout for me, to protect my shoulder.  I did some dumbbell bench presses, 100 sit-ups, and the main workout included lots of front squats, push-ups and some running.  Yesterday, I started the workout feeling tired.  We started with fifteen minutes of double-under practice alternated with burpees.  I'm getting better at double-unders, but I'm not there yet.  In the 15 minutes, I did 15 rounds of double-under practice and 50 total burpees.  Then the main workout included 80 sit-ups, 60 ball slams and 70 box jumps, although I subbed step-ups for box jumps partway through the workout.  Tonight's workout is not shoulder friendly, but I'll make some adjustments and get my 4th CF workout this week.

And then this weekend, I'll fish on Saturday and ski on Sunday.  Sunday will be Sugarbush's last skiing day this season and skiing is free for everyone.  It's also Cinco de Mayo, so there should be a fun party atmosphere at the mountain.
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