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Saturday, December 26, 2015



Saturday,  10:00 AM.  30 degrees F at the ferry dock, 27 on the back porch.  Wind E, calm with light gusts.  The sky is overcast and it is snowing, with about 3" of wet new snow already fallen.  The humidity is 95% and the barometer is rising, currently at 30.5".  We should get a day or two of respite, then more snow the middle of next week.  Roads are slippery but the plows are now out.
   The roads still covered with ice, Buddy and I went to the beach again yesterday for our exercise.  For the first time since I got out of the hospital I walked on the frozen sand south from the Friendly Valley parking area to the mouth of the Sioux River.  It was barely recognizable, as storms and currents have washed tons and tons of sand out into the bay, and the waters one could almost jump across several months ago are now several hundred feet across and obviously quite deep.  Despite all of the hydraulics going on,  the subsidiary channel leading up to the Hwy. 13 bridge and the swamp remains walled up with sand, and the small boat ramp on Hwy. 13 still unusable.  If you don't like the river mouth, wait a while and it will change drastically.
   While surveying the mouth of the river and marveling at the change, I looked out on the water and saw the same fishermen as the day before, trolling along at what would be a good walk.  The only difference was they were heading north yesterday, and south the day before. Were they out there trolling the Bay for twenty-four hours and more?  Nah, nobody would be that persistent.  If a warden inspected their catch, would they be over their keeping limit?  Nah, I never saw a rod bend nor a net dipped.  Were they just out there killing time?  There's easier, and certainly warmer ways to do that than  ride around in a little boat out on the biggest, coldest lake on the planet on Christmas Day.  Maybe their fishing is an ingenious way to escape nagging wives and squalling kids.  But maybe they're bachelors. Maybe they don't have the right cable bundling to get college football.
   Maybe I've pursued the topic far enough; it is pretty much a mystery why fishermen do what they do.

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