Mother Nature had her own ideas for an April's Fools joke yesterday.
This winter has been exceptionally warm in Colorado and yesterday was almost too much. A week ago I drove by a local reservoir and it was almost completely covered in ice. On the way to the river yesterday I veered off the main highway to take a quick look to see if there was enough open water for fishing. As I crested the small pass I couldn't believe my eyes. All I could see was open water. In one week the reservoir went from 90% ice to 90% water. It was truly unbelievable as this lake normally doesn't become ice free until mid to late May.
As I drove further south towards a new river I wanted to check out the thermometer in the truck kept rising. The heat of the sun had me cranking up the air conditioning to remain comfortable driving in shorts and a t-shirt. I had to periodically glance around to make sure I was still 8,000 feet high in the Rockies.
I arrived at the river and started hiking upstream. The only signs of winter were some old thin snow patches barely surviving in the shadiest, north facing places. There were other signs that made the date seem irrelevant. A few wildflowers starting to bloom in the open spaces and a dusty trail made it seem much later in the season.
After a short hike I entered the cold, off-color flows. The chill of the water felt great with the sun beating down. It felt great to cast a long line trying to get some trout to eat a streamer. I hooked a few nice trout but it was really just nice to be out on what felt like a summer day. I will remember that warmth when the fog and wind keeps the temps cool along the Strait of Juan de Fuca this upcoming summer.
I would love to say that this day of warmth was welcome after a long winter but we have not had a long winter. I remember seeing crocuses blooming before Christmas where the ground would normally be covered by multiple feet of snow. We have had warm sunny weather for what seems like the entire last month. April Fool's day was certainly the warmest day of this stretch though.
Of course, it must have been a joke as we awoke to rain and sleet this morning. Maybe it never happened.