I hear you George! I was a Mississippi river kid (WI) and sure miss ice fishing, open water fishing, panfishing. I can't even speculate about the miles I put on an old 10-speed with a rod bungeed to the frame like a lance and a 5-gallon pail with a seat-lid on the back rack . Or the hours in a shanty listening to AM radio staring down a hole in the ice.
One nice thing about having moved west though was when I got my first license and asked about the mercury restrictions, the guy said "Where'd you move here from? Don't have that here." Now we're starting to, but high country trout are in the clear. The streams ruined by mines don't support fish so no worries! I'm still learning the flyrod. It seems weird to have an easier time on the streams than I do bass or panfishing... the trouties'll snatch a reasonably-presented fly on the way by, but a crafty ole lake fish has all kinds of time and clear, smooth water to look for that monofilament. Still, a day spent easing around in a bellyboat racks up the mental health points like nothing else!
Bees, brews and fun
in Lyons, CO